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outside inside

WHEN ARTISTS HANNAH VAN DER WAL AND DAVID WICKENS first met at an exhibition opening at Outstation Gallery, they didn’t anticipate they would have their first joint exhibition on those very same walls.

Their show, outside inside, looks at how the lines between outdoor and indoor living get blurred due to living in the tropics. The couple currently call East Arnhem Indigenous community Yirrkala home, and have each lived in different spaces in Darwin and Arnhem Land.

“In Darwin, I’ve always lived in tropical homes with louvres,” van der Wal says. 

“There was one house I lived in in Rapid Creek that didn’t have louvres, but had windows that opened out with no fly screen. We’d have birds come in sometimes and you always felt so in touch with nature, even when you’re lying on your bed i n your bedroom.”

Wickens had a similar experience when he moved to Gunbalanya five years ago, birds and all.

“I moved in to this rickety old house, totally open to the elements. I’d have to go and bash on an old saucepan to shut-up the corellas outside my window. You experience the outside come in to your personal sanctuary. But when you’re not living like that, you’re yearning for the outside to come in.”

The couple knew the time would come for their work to join forces for a show.

“We both knew we’d do it at some point. We’ve both always been artists and we’ve talk about collaborating a lot,” Wickens says.

“It’s a great partnership, and it’s not been stressful or overly thought out. The works are going to speak to each other but we don’t know how that’s going to happen until we see it on the wall. But we know our works are going to bounce nicely off each other.”

FRI 4 OCT - SAT 9 NOV | OPENING 6PM, FRI 4 OCT | OUTSTATION GALLERY | FREE | @dawnfaced | @davewickensart

Image 1 David Wickens and Hannah van der Wal

Image 2 David Wickens, 'Arnhem landscape' (detail), 2019, acrylic on linen 152x90cm

Image 3 Hannah van der Wal, 'Jingili Lounge', 2019, gouache and pen on paper, 30x20cm

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