The cover for Westerly 65.2 (Nov 2020) was drawn from a series of works by Western Australian artist Marite Norris.
‘Suburban Dreaming’ (2020) is a series of lockdown-inspired collages on linen—a piecing together of photographs that epitomise the Western Australian environs of our childhoods, those that live in our memories. Collaging not only photographs that she has taken, but also images that she has cut from magazines and publications, Marite recombines them in a dynamic style to critique what is happening in our world.
The act of recontextualising or redefining images by isolating them—snipping them from their comfortable surrounds—and splicing them together amongst eclectic images of suburbia seems to be a metaphor for the new meaning we have all been forced to find during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. An image is removed from its home, to a state of loneliness, then placed within a collection of household objects, flora and fauna, familiar yet distorted in scale and proximity, creating a slightly disturbing sense of cosiness.
Marite Norris is a mixed media artist who has been working since 2003 and has held a number of exhibitions in Perth and Hong Kong. Marite is the director of ‘The Art Space Collective’ in Scarborough (established 2015), an inspired and innovative community arts hub. The collective brings together artists and creatives to establish a space for art sessions, exhibitions and shared work studios. Marite has worked with both state and local government organisations to deliver art activations and public events. The energy of the space is driven by Mo, Evie and Otis Maslin, three beautiful and artistic souls, there every step of the way.