Monique van Nieuwland’s work encompasses loom weaving, Jacquard weaving, printing with pigments and dyes, as well as mixed media. The concepts in her work focus on common human experiences. In the 1980s and 90s her practice also included community art. This involved working with individuals and groups in the Canberra community creating art work for public display, in her case mostly within health facilities.
Inspired by her community arts work in a hospice for the dying, van Nieuwland started her Master of Philosophy studies at the ANU School of Art, completed in 2004. “The shroud as a contemporary textile art form in the Western world” was the result of research into the resurgence of the shroud both as a practical object and a form of conceptual textile art. The sub-thesis argued that shrouds are becoming a significant phenomenon embodying personal, medical and political responses to death. It concluded that contemporary shrouds are linked to changing attitudes to death and dying.
In her practice Monique exhibits her work regularly, and has made numerous presentations at seminars and conferences. She teaches weaving for the Centre for Continuing Education at the Australian National University School of Art.
Monique’s last solo exhibition of hand woven work: “simply cloth”, looked at simple and ordinary textiles. The installation showed the beauty of everyday textiles (such as handkerchiefs, dishcloths, nappies, washers, tea towels, blankets) evoking personal stories and memories. The work addressed environmental concerns, highlighting wasteful practises in Western societies, where ordinary and utilitarian woven cloth is disappearing, substituted by synthetic and disposable alternatives.
Monique has executed several art commissions for the Auburn, Braeside and Nepean Hospitals in Sydney, as well as interior commissions for Malacky PTY LTD in Sydney and CUBIT Interior Design in the ACT. Her work has been collected by the Arrarat Gallery (Victoria), Montague Collection (Fort Washington) and the Canberra Museum and Galleries.
‘Two Nets: One to catch air and one to catch water’ 2010
Medium: knitted monofilament, glass marbles, metal
Size: Overall installation size variable, suspended in mid space
at eye height.
Each net: Height: 89cm x Width: 96cm x Depth: 21cm
“Two Nets” focuses on the “un-seen” out of which a net sifts its catch. The “un-seen” such as clean air and water, are commodities which seem to have always been plentiful but are becoming scarce and polluted.
Monique talks about her work to ANU textile students September 2010Photographer Gabriella Hegyes
Monique van Nieuwland