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M A K I N G  -  D O 
Merri Cheyne’s lounge room
Wurundjeri Land
Brunswick East, 2024

Making-do is the first exhibition in ‘Hot Compost Home Tour’, a home-based touring exhibition series curated by artists and gardeners in Naarm, produced with Seventh Gallery. 

Curated by community gardener and textile practitioner Merri Cheyne, Making-do is an exhibition of a scrap quilt by Emily Simek, alongside Cheyne’s own domestic textiles in her lounge room. The exhibition takes the format of a working group, where Cheyne invites friends to test out and further develop a pattern for a new blanket made from scrap materials. Pattern-testing is a group process where the design of the blanket, and home-based exhibition, is collectively tested out and reflected upon, through practices in making and doing.

The show explores how a home show might function in support of a household, ‘making-do’ in ways that are subsistent, frugal, and involve collective gestures of care. This reflects Cheyne’s approach to gardening and low impact living,

     …when I don’t have something, I’ve just got to adjust my expectations of what I need, I can just do without. You make-do with what you have, or you wait until the opportunity manifests itself – something on the street, in the op-shop, or someone gives it to you. Stuff does manifest, people do give you things you really really want, if you wait long enough, if you are patient. It’s about tamping down your desire for new stuff, thinking, is it really necessary?

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Hot Compost Home Tour
is an offsite exhibition series by Emily Simek in collaboration with Merri Cheyne, Anna Dunnill, Eric Jong, Mei Sun and Doug Webb, produced with Seventh Gallery. The home-based tour explores composting as an approach to exhibition practice. Using relational ethics as a framework, the project considers the conditions of the various exchanges that ‘create’ compost: how and where does it come to exist? How are different collaborators implicated? Instead of a purely material process, composting becomes about the work of relationships within systems of exchange.

Photography by Astrid Mulder.
Participants: Merri, Tony, Rebecca, Lester, Emily, Alex, Jill, Terry, Lynette, Stephanie, and Astrid.