By Romy Stephens
Belgrave Heights’ Chaco Kato takes a unique approach to art.
The founder of the Slow Art Collective aims to encompass the general public in her creations, all while focusing on sustainability.
The Show Art Collective was instigated by Ms Kato about 10 years ago. It is a collection of artists who create large scale, participatory public artworks based around the ideas of sustainability, DIY culture and collaboration.
Led by Ms Kato and her collaborator Dylan Martorell, they will create a large public art installation at the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre next month.
The installation will transform the heritage facade of the centre with an intricately woven bamboo and rope structure.
Over two days, the public will be invited to help create a large macrame canopy and bamboo pavilion through weaving.
Ms Kato said everyone is invited to participate, no matter their skill level or experience.
“My main focus of my practice is to let people know that art is not a special thing to do for only art trained people,” she said.
“Everybody has to be creative in their own way and there are lots of ways you can be creative.”
The installation will help celebrate the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre’s Week of Women in honour of International Women’s Day on 8 March.
From the 2-8 March the centre will hold a range of events featuring writers, performers, singers and artists.
As well as focusing on collaborative art through its installation, the Slow Art Collective will also retain its typical theme of sustainability.
“Each project we work with other artists, architects or environmentalists and scientists,” Ms Kato said.
“We are really looking at something we can just reuse or recycle or whatever we can use.
“We focus on more everyday material rather than special industrial materials.”
Ms Kato is an inter-disciplinary artist working across sculpture, drawing, installation and community-based projects.
Her foundational beliefs began during her childhood growing up in Japan, where Buddhist philosophies permeate society.
Her interest in Zen and Taoism have also influenced her work, exploring ideas of impermanence and the idea that everything exists in a constant state of flux.
She has been an artist for about 20 years and lived in the Dandenong Ranges for over 15 years.
Despite her studio being in Brunswick, she said she often draws inspiration from where she lives.
“Whenever I go back home I find so many interesting things to incorporate,” Ms Kato said.
For more information on Ms Kato’s art visit, www.chacokato.com or www.slowartcollective.com.