Adele Daniele

DecolletageAdele Daniele
00:00 / 04:51

'Decolletage' is a jewelled ode and love song to a spider. The cassette tapes 'Bewdiful Naycha...' with cover art from my photography and drawings I produced to document it's habitat. 2020 was always going to be a challenging year for me. In March I left my beloved shared studio to pursue a new creative endeavor from a yet to be carved out studio space in an inner city Melbourne apartment. What was supposed to be my time to create and make noise freely during daytime hours has shifted into an abyss of confronting emotions-sometimes feral, often exhausting. Everyone in the building is home, all day everyday,isolating, working, working, isolating. We hear each other but we can’t see each other. We wave at one another through windows with our squinty eyes and home-made masks. And we repeat. In between tasks I take solace in daily walks to the Fitzroy Gardens which is often an adventure. I have used this time to observe and document a small section of the gardens and in doing so have become acquainted with the Phonognatha Graeffei, commonly known as the leaf-curling spider. The spider is distinguished by having a curled leaf at the center of its web, in which it shelters and hides from it’s prey. It rests a few limbs on to its web waiting for the vibration of it’s dinner. I was intrigued to learn that the species form pairs and live together in the same leaf, though at opposite ends of their shelter. The female creates a separate curled leaf “nursery” hung in nearby foliage. I witnessed many fine displays of this at various stages of engineering and even found myself lured out of bed early to check on progress.“Where is the wine at this exhibition opening? I’m standing here in the rain, crying at the spiders.” One rainy morning,careful not to dismantle anything with my umbrella, I saw two complete orbs neighbouring one another, swingly gently in the wind and rain, tears streaming down my cheeks. I can only describe the sight as an exclusive, ephemeral display of the most beautiful neckpieces fit only for otherworldly beings, and only I had the privilege of bearing witness to it. And so I felt it was only polite to write an ode and love song to the leaf-curling spider. I have spent many days photographing the spiders,drawing their habitat and listening to the flora and fauna that contribute to this inner-city microcosm. The result is a diverse body of work that speaks of loneliness, stillness, and an enforced quietness that comes with mourning what was once ‘normal’. If we are fortunate enough, we may wander with eyes-wide-open for the first time since childhood and witness the daily changes that occur in an urban forest. This ever-changing gallery of spectacular jewels is ultimately an unexpected reward that serves to nurture and heal the rogue, raw emotion that can lead us astray if we don’t move slowly enough through it. As they say I am woke to this and for that I am truly grateful.

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