Nicola de Vries, 'Human Shields', 2022. Thread, yarn, fabric, steel sewing pins, crochet, embroidery, audio (artist’s heartbeat), wooden stands.  Dimensions: 130 cm x 350 cm x 45 cm. Image courtesy: the artist. 

Artist statement

'Human Shields' uses textiles to render personal experiences of motherhood, grief, humour, and protection. Referencing feminist retellings of Greek mythologies, and their tropes of war and craft, the work employs domestic sewing techniques and materials to consider the shields I use in my own life and what, or who, they protect. The double-sided shields embody the duality of my lived experience: public and private identity, the corporal and intangible, what I reveal and what I hold close. 

Follow Nicola on Instagram @nicola_devries or Vimeo

Acknowledgement of Country

UNSW School of Art & Design stands on an important place of learning and exchange first occupied by the Bidjigal and Gadigal peoples.

We acknowledge the Bidjigal and Gadigal peoples as the Traditional Custodians of the land that our students and staff share, create and operate on. We pay our respects to Elders past and present and extend this respect to all First Nations peoples across Australia. Sovereignty has never been ceded.