Belinda recently sent me an image of a work that she made shortly after her daughter Billie was born. Titled Swell (2010) the piece is a watercolour on board that depicts a series of waves building and easing as they carry and support an infant child. A decade on, Swell resonates with Belinda’s latest body of work and second solo exhibition at Michael Reid Berlin.
Titled Close to Home, this exhibition encompasses the highs and lows of emotion, and the vulnerability that comes when stepping into the unknown. Like Swell that expressed the enormity of change when Belinda became a mother, Close to Home, follows a similar trajectory but this time is bound up in the uncertainty of the present.
Belinda has called The Hague in The Netherlands home for the past four years. When lockdown came into action earlier this year she searched for inspiration and solitude from her immediate environment. She explains: “most paintings depict the things perhaps I was taking for granted in my neighbourhood before the world turned upside-down”. The new works created for Close to Home, however, signify something greater. This exhibition is Belinda’s final hoorah in Europe (for now) before she relocates back to Australia. As the title affirms she is indeed ‘close to home’.
Living and working abroad, as many talented Australians dare to do, requires resilience. Belinda for one has alternated between two countries, continuing to uphold a successful artistic practice in Australia whilst simultaneously nurturing one in Europe. With roots and family located on the opposite side of the globe, in this state of flux one can become fragmented, groundless even.
READ MORE in the exhibition catalogue.
Featuring collaborations with Wilfred Kalf, Remi Wörtmeyer & Todd Fuller.