2023, Maitland Regional Gallery 
Maitland Regional Gallery  and Brontë Naylor would like to acknowledge that the works in this exhibition were made on the unceded lands of the Wonnarua Awabakal, and Wormi People.

We acknowledge their continuing connection to the lands, waters, culture and community. We pay our respects to Elders, past and present. 

Brontë Naylor, Muscle Memory 2023 aluminium, aluminium composite, metal
primer, acrylic paint, acrylic exterior house paint, Height:2 Width: 3.6 m

Image by: John Cliff


Maitland Gallery,
Curated by Kim Blunt 

Brontë Naylor has an enduring interest in public space and the culture of what takes place within the shared areas. Mainly the artist gravitates to actions like graffiti, skating, surfing and walking. These actions give evidence to the participating individual’s belief systems and how their bodies move through space.

The artwork was made after the artist watched skaters' fluid-like bodies hurtling towards solid structures, every so slightly eroding urban surface. There is a velocity, repetition and violence in the relationship between skaters and the urban and cement. Like the force of water in the Hunter River, these skaters move forward as an interrogation and a challenge of the ‘immovable and permanent’ of modernity.

Naylor engaged career skaters, Adam Tabone and Connor Reeve to test movement experiments (skating) at numerous sites that flanked the Hunter River in and around the Maitland CBD. The skatable sites are a collision of the urban and ‘the wild’. The images from that multi-day experiment informed the artwork Muscle Memory.

Naylor observed that the skaters surrender totally to muscle memory, a neuronal pathway that could last until death. What is certain is that no matter how many times the Hunters River is artificially diverted, the Rivers' muscle memory will reclaim the land when our time has passed with ease.

Words by Artist