Teelah George’s Sky piece project maps the colour of the sky through large-scale embroideries and needlework, with varying gauges, directions and sheens of threads coalescing to create chromatic panels on linen offcuts. George recognises that the sky is both familiar and strange to us all. Everyone is aware of and relates to the sky, yet it is impossible to touch or fully comprehend. George writes: ‘It is omnipresent yet eternally immaterial and vast. My constant and persistent attempt to represent it within the constraints of my material language and process is somewhat Sisyphean but comes to reflect a fundamentally human desire to represent, communicate and a will to keep’.
For Inner Sanctum, George presents her most ambitious Sky piece alongside a collection of five earlier works. It marks the first opportunity for the series to be viewed together. The earliest work, Sky piece, 2016–17, was made as George listened to audio memoirs of women who described life on farms and their memories of ‘women’s work’. Sky piece, falling (Melbourne, Perth), 2020–21, introduces a leaning bronze structure, suggestive of a frame or window. Cast from soft wax models that bear traces of the artist’s grip, this bronze element offers a counterpoint to the textiles’ softness, vulnerability and impermanence. In Sky piece (Melbourne, Barcelona, Madrid, Leon, Gijon, Palermo, Koh Samui), 2023, the bronze represents neither strictly frame nor support: it holds the work, offering an opportunity for the structure to mimic the linework and texture of the textile and play with sensations of weight and lightness.