Covid Good Wishes
10 December 2020 – 16 March 2021
“This series of small and multi-layered linocuts, was recently made during the four months of Naarm/Melbourne’s long second lockdown. Covid 19 has had a gruelling impact upon my Disabled life. But I have found solace by deep diving into my lifelong love of postage stamps, postmarks and envelopes with their varying inner pale blue patterns.
Each of these postcard sized artworks and delicate paper cranes, incorporate many individual linocut blocks, as well as carefully chosen Australian postage stamps. The long slow process of carving lino seemed to match and even harmonise with the warped sense of time and isolation that Covid restrictions brought to Melbourne.
Each of these artworks were also made for various print exchanges. This means they have been sent via mail post around the world to swap with other artists. The paper cranes represent my hope for a fair and just recovery for the planet and all on it. There is an ancient Japanese legend that promises that if you fold one thousand paper cranes, you will be granted a wish by the Goddesses/Gods.
I wish you all the health you need, strong connections to those that you love, creativity to grow compassion, and the courage to make a difference as we rebuild and recover.”
About Larissa MacFarlane
Larissa MacFarlane is a Naarm/Melbourne-based visual artist and disability activist, working across a printmaking, community and street art practice. Her work is informed by the fast-changing urban industrial landscapes of Melbourne’s west, to investigate ideas of belonging, place, healing and change. She also uses her lived experience of a 22-year-old brain injury to investigate Disabled culture, community, identity and pride.
She has exhibited widely in galleries and streets since 2006, and won many awards including MContemporary People’s Choice Award (2016), RMIT Artlands Award (2016, 2014), Flanagan Art Prize for Emerging Artists (2015), Manly Library Artist Book Award (2017 acquisition) and she was a finalist in the final four Silk Cut Awards (2012-2016). Her street art, that investigates her daily ritual of performing handstands, a key part of her disability self-management, was exhibited in 2017 at the Arts Centre Melbourne and the Warrnambool Art Gallery.
For almost two decades, Larissa has been involved in the Self-Advocacy and Disability Justice movements, leading and collaborating on many community arts projects, with groups such as Brain Injury Matters, Arts Access Victoria and Footscray Community Arts Centre. She recently led Brain Injury Matters to create ABI Wise, the world’s first app made by and for people with ABI.
In 2017, she led Australia’s first Disability Pride murals and has since produced several more, including a short documentary film The Disability Pride Wall. She currently sits on the board of Arts Access Australia. Her commitment to the disability arts sector has recently won her a nomination at the 2020 Aspire Awards.
This exhibition is part of the IGNITE program for artists who identify as disabled, D/deaf, HOH, chronically ill, neurodiverse or who have lived experience of mental health issues.