Gippsland-based artist Meg Viney is influenced by Native American Culture. After living and working in North America for fifteen years, she returned to Australia and her own culture with a deep understanding of human spiritualism, particularly that so evident in tribal cultures. This remains the focus of Meg’s work.
Her inspiration for this exhibition comes from the Hopi Indians who believe that they were underground dwellers, and were 'born' when a Shrike (bird with sharp beak) pecked a hole in the earth's surface and they were able to emerge. It is understood that they lived in kivas, underground dwellings which were lit by fire. In time, they also created above ground dwellings. However, the shaman (spiritual leader) remained in the kiva. A tribesperson wishing to see the shaman would descend though this hole, which, due to the fire, was smoke-filled. The descent through this SIPAPU symbolised the transition from the secular to the sacred world and emergence symbolised a new life.
Meg says, “The Sipapu became, for me, a wonderful symbol for containment, a concept central to my work. One is held and nurtured, close to Nature.”