Inheritance is an exhibition of wood and metal sculpture by emerging artist Joel Mitchell, featuring large-scale seedpods that have been made from reclaimed, discarded wood. Sustainability is an important aspect of Mitchell’s practice, in which he never cuts down living trees or takes from existing habitats, preferring found wood that has often been dumped or discarded.
“I find the process of seeing potential in discarded wood, then cutting, carving, grinding and sanding until it is realised, a deeply therapeutic process. This practice has many parallels in seeing the potential within myself and others.”
Mitchell’s inspiration comes from “Darwin’s unique and diverse landscape”, although his love of nature was cultivated growing up in the Blue Mountains, NSW. Themes from his work with youth, in outdoor education and reflections on parenthood also feed into his practice; correlating concepts of hope, restoration, beauty, brokenness and inheritance with his personal experiences and the natural world.
“I am intrigued with seed pods, as their primary function is to grow, protect, nurture and release life to the next generation. A tiny seed holding all the DNA of the parent plant, lays dormant, until the conditions are right to germinate. Only then do we see its full potential and beauty (or destructive nature) realised.”
Joel Mitchell holds a Bachelor of Creative Arts and Industries from Charles Darwin University, he won first prize in the 2013 Wetlands Australia Photography Competition (Flora) and has recently had a public artwork installed in a leisure precinct in Darwin . Inheritance marks Mitchell’s first solo show at the Northern Centre for Contemporary Art.