【Mentee web story】Lhotse Collins

Lhotse Collins (Mentee 2022-2023, Australia)

Lhotse Collins lives and works on the land of the Wurundjeri people in Naarm/Melbourne. She undertook a Bachelor of Fine arts at Monash Art, Design and Architecture, and completed her Honours of Fine Arts at The Victorian College of the Arts in 2021.

Lhotse Collins’ practice is based in an attentive relationship to matter, which dissolves the seeping boundaries between bodies. Through this material attention, Collins’ practice considers its potential as a method for decolonising ways of thinking. Tracing back to ancestral bodies through craft processes and enactments of pagan ritual, these past and present actions interrogate processes of colonisation. 

A concern with place shifts the work towards considering the impacts of agriculture and land transformation. These fragile, itching and unresolved tensions are the womb of her work.

Lhotse Collins (Mentee 2022-2023)’s Website Page

Tell us what you are working on, or what are you committed to?
ลองเล่าให้ฟังหน่อยว่า คุณกำลังทำโครงการหรือโปรเจคอะไรอยู่บ้าง และมีอะไรที่คุณต้องดำเนินการให้สำเร็จ

I have recently been working on a project with Woven Collective. This is a community project/gallery space in Brunswick East, Melbourne called Woven Projects. We strive to knit strands between knowledges, ideas, disciplines, artforms and communities. Working towards regenerative communities and gathering in resistance is the bedrock of our work together. This project is coming to an end in July (2022). Woven Collective aims for more projects in the future. 

最近、Woven Collectiveとのプロジェクトに取り組んでいます。これは、メルボルンのBrunswick EastにあるWoven Projectsというコミュニティ・プロジェクト/ギャラリー・スペースです。私たちは、知識、アイデア、分野、アートフォーム、コミュニティの間の紐を関連づけることに努めています。再生可能なコミュニティを目指し、抵抗のために集うことが、私たちの活動の基盤となっています。このプロジェクトは2022年7月で終了する予定ですが、Woven Collectiveは今後もより多くのプロジェクトを目指しています。

I also work on my own art practice. Based in historical and embodied research practices of making, I sift for untold colonial and European folk histories of my ancestors. I follow strands into the past in order to unravel the stories I’ve been told, or not told, in order to reweave, to tangle and untangle. Residing in these knots allows imaginings and hopeful speculations on possible futures. I enact these practices of story-ing and truth-telling through various methods: sculptural installation, performance, writing and community engagement. Relocating my capacity for connection to place and community is a central concern in my dreams of decolonising for different futures.


What made you join the mentoring programme?

I finished art school last year (2021). I was faced with a big wide world when I stepped out of the institution after four years, a world which does not necessarily have much space for the arts. I joined the mentoring programme as I felt guidance and community would be key for me to continue my practice and continue to move within the arts. 


What are you hoping to achieve, or unlearn? Have you identified any specific challenges in your private life or professional work in your mentoring sessions?
คุณคาดหวังว่าจะได้รับอะไร หรือ แก้ไขความเข้าใจผิดอะไรบางอย่าง คุณได้ค้นพบความท้าทายบางอย่างในชีวิตส่วนตัว หรือในชีวิตการทำงาน หรือไม่ในการเข้าร่วมการให้คำปรึกษากับเหล่าผู้เชี่ยวชาญของเรา

I’m hoping to learn to have more confidence in what I have to offer the world, and to not be as swayed by the competitive culture in Melbourne. I’ve identified some things I want to unlearn around my internalised expectations of myself as a woman in the arts. It’s also reminded me how important working with people and in community is, creating a network or ecology between art workers and artists.


What does it feel like meeting a mentor and/or a fellow mentee from a different country and culture? 

It’s been really lovely, especially after COVID-19 when my world felt very small, to meet and speak with people who have different experiences of life. It’s been helpful to be reminded, in meeting the other mentee who’s been living in Japan, that there are many different art scenes out there. My mentor is actually also from Australia but there are so many sub-cultures and experiences within Australia, so we have had fun learning from each other as well. 


Can you share a tip with anyone looking for extra resources or support, i.e. how to reach out?
มีแหล่งข้อมูลอะไรอยากจะแบ่งปันกับผู้อื่นหรือไม่ และข้อมูลเหล่านั้นเข้าถึงได้จากทางใด

It can be really hard, I struggled when I first moved from rural Australia to find an access point, to find a mentor or guidance in the arts. I guess I’d say peers are incredible. If you find some like-minded people, peers can be very helpful in guiding you. Also a tip I think would be to be open and honest that you need support.