Kate Alida Mullen reflects on her time spent at The Farm, saying that, "The notion and possibility of ‘re-quieting’ decimated or wounded Country and ecologies came alive to me during my stay - a pearl I carry forward in my research and life. This was seeded through experiencing firsthand the evolving confluence of agricultural, artistic and philosophical ideas that inform The Farm's sustainable ideologies and systems. On a separate note, I was reminded of how critical deep time and space is to my art and writing practices, as well as to my physical, mental and spiritual wellness. At the same time, the gold of genuine community and collaboration was also felt and appreciated in new ways. My brief time at The Farm saw a negotiation between these essential counterparts, and practice in the art of balancing the two.”
During her time in-residence, Mullen produced a series of photographic prints by converting The Stables studio into a makeshift camera obscura and dark room laboratory. Alongside this series, several additional multidisciplinary and experimental site-specific artworks were generated. These span drawing, video, sound, photography and performance, and formed solo exhibition, Its Sighs Become Yours, at The Farm in August 2022.
Early on, a series of daily ‘getting to know you’ exercises were introduced as small rituals to support and track my embodiment in and of place. These consisted of: drawing the sky each morning upon waking; walking the surrounding paddocks and forests; working with materials found in-situ, both man-made (old plywood, rusted artefacts, used drop sheets, etc.) and those foraged from the natural world (charcoal and ash from local bush fires, Marri sap, Balga resin, etc.). These exercises led to contemplations on the breath – both the breath of the human body and the collective breath of an ecology. Breathing offers a potent illustration of how, in a physiological sense, we become the places we breathe in.
Kate Alida Mullen is a West Australian-born artist, curator and writer currently undertaking doctoral research on deep listening practices as modes of navigating colonised space. In addition to ongoing art and curatorial practices, Mullen is engaged in arts-based consultancy work Australia-wide with arts organisations working in close partnership with communities, particularly remote Aboriginal communities. Underpinning Mullen’s diverse projects is an interest in the capacity of art to bring about embodied states of engagement with place and support natural healing processes.