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Regional Art Stories Kate Just

Infused with a sharp feminist take, in the latest episode of Regional Assembly's Conversations with the Assembly in conversation with Alana Hunt in January 2024, Kate reflects on recent bodies of work including Protest Signs (2022), Self Care Action (2023) and Fifty Rules for Making Art (2023-24); community and activism in regional Victoria; adopting family, and moving with grief. Follow Kate on instagram @katejustknits

Kate Just is a queer American/Australian artist of Polish, Irish, Scottish and German descent who lives and works on Dja Dja Wurrung Country in Victoria. Just is best known for her inventive and political use of knitting. In addition to her solo practice, Just often works socially and collaboratively within communities to create large scale, public art projects that tackle significant social issues including LGBTQIA rights, sexual harassment and violence against women. Her work creates space for viewers to closely reflect on their own relationship to art, feminism, care and social justice.

Kate Just: She said, “you have to come home, you have to”. So I went, with this feeling of resistance. And when I got home my Mum was sitting on the couch doing two things which I had never seen her do—smoking and knitting…and I’m thinking “who is this person, who is smoking and knitting?!” I’ve never seen her do either. She was a high powered CEO. And so I just sat next to her and we didn’t really talk much at all. And I just watched her, and I picked it up and started doing it. It was a very profound moment, where I felt like nothing needs to be said, but the world is kind of falling a part, and somehow we are doing this action that connects things back together, and makes something new. And I also had this feeling, while I was sitting next to her silently, you could go to any place in the world and you would find this history of women teaching other women to work with craft. And it would go all the way from the beginning of time, to now.And it’s the medium that contains so many women’s stories, unknown, that may never be known. It would just only ever be in their house, this thing they made. But that is so powerful and so continuous.

Kate Just