Publication Details

A. Golda and M. V. Johnson Swells of Enchantment 2013 24HR Art Darwin Solo exhibition - 24HRArt: The Northern Territory Centre for Contemporary Art 3 May to 1 June



Research Background

Swells of Enchantment is an installation oriented towards themes of the otherworldly, a preoccupation largely shaped by the artists’ enduring interest in mining the imaginary, the supernatural, the anthropomorphic and the mythical, drawn from traditional Eastern European folklore. These sources are explored through contemporary installation as a means of challenging well-established Western epistemologies that separate inner and outer territories such as Cartesian dualism, theories of embodiment, scientific models involving psychoanalytical approaches and the Western hierarchy of the senses (Howes 2005).

Research Contribution

The artists propose that those scholarly tendencies that separate the senses: feeling from thought, emotion from reason, rationality from irrationality, and public from private, all stem from patriarchal systems of knowledge based on a politics of exclusion, including a politics of gender (Ahmed 2004; Classen 2005). Thus, Swells of Enchantment conjoins immersive with fragmented narrative and ritualistic modes of contemporary installation art to construct a critical space for encounters with alternative worlds and to express a form of resistance towards dominant systems of knowledge that not only situate beliefs in other worlds as irrational, but which seek to disparage, repress and dislodge alternative world views and their histories from memory.

Research Significance

Accepted for inclusion through a competitive peer-review selection process in the triennially funded 24HRArt: the Northern Territory Centre for Contemporary Art’s annual program, the work is also the subject of a self-authored chapter (A. Golda) in Handbook of Textiles, (forthcoming) Bloomsbury Publishing, London edited by international leaders in contemporary textile art, J. Jefferies, H. Clark & D. Wood Conroy.


Link to publisher version (URL)



Through a collaborative mixed-media installation, Golda and Johnson activate a critical space about the ways in which migrant and non-migrant artists can address the entanglement between the felt and socio-political dimensions of migratory and intercultural living in Australia.

swells1.pdf (10076 kB)
Images of Swells of Enchantment exhibition