Katie West belongs to the Yindjibarndi people of the Pilbara tablelands in Western Australia. The process of naturally dyeing fabric underpins her practice – the rhythm of walking, gathering, bundling, boiling up water and infusing materials with plant matter. Katie creates objects, installations and happenings that invite calm, reflection and attention to the ecologies we live within and participate, following the understanding that the health and wellbeing the environment is a reflection of the health and wellbeing of people.
Katie’s first significant commission Decolonist, for Next Wave Festival 2016, explored how meditation is a way to decolonise the self. In 2017 Katie completed a Master of Contemporary Art at the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne, graduating as the recipient of the Dominik Mersch Gallery Award and the Falls Creek Resort Indigenous Award.
Other selected exhibitions include: Radical Ecologies, PICA, Perth WA; Roll on, Roll on, Phenomena (until you are no more), curated by Eloise Sweetman, Jan van Eyck Academy, The Netherlands; Warna (ground), Caves Gallery, Melbourne VIC; wilayi bangarrii, wanyaarri (go for a walk, listen), Dominik Mersch Gallery, Sydney NSW; Installation Contemporary, Sydney Contemporary 2019, Carriageworks, Sydney NSW; Clearing, TarraWarra Museum of Art, Healesville VIC.
Katie also shares a collaborative project with artist and writer Fayen d’Evie entitled Museum Incognita. Sparked by asking what forms a decolonised museum may take, Museum Incognita revisits neglected, concealed or obscured histories and activates embodied readings of place.
Exhibitions and residencies for the Museum Incognita project include: When the other meets the other, curated by Biljana Ciric, Cultural Centre of Belgrade, Serbia; Summer Residency: Museum Incognita, Blindside, Melbourne VIC; A thousand times the rolling sun, curated by Gabriel Curtin, HM Prison, Beechworth, VIC; and the University of Melbourne’s Department of Geography Artist in Residence Program.