In 2020, the ‘Weaving Futures’ project provided fifteen artists with an opportunity to expand their practices through the lens of tapestry design. Nurturing creativity during a challenging time – the project disseminated skills and knowledge through different mediums and across generations. Artists include: Kay Abude, Atong Atem, John Bates, Eric Bridgeman, Dadang Christanto, Paula do Prado, Troy Emery, Emily Ferretti, Teelah George, Eugenia Lim, Julian Martin, Hayley Millar-Baker, Kent Morris, Britt Salt, Sera Waters.
For more information visit: https://austapestry.com.au/whats-on/outreach/weavingfutures
'Weaving Futures' is generously supported by the Playking Foundation and Creative Victoria.
The most pressing concern in my current art practice is discovering, reawakening and sustaining the important knowledge housed within traditions. My research particularly explores textile, domestic and home-craft traditions and argues they contain knowledge which can be utilised to make shifts to veer away from climate catastrophe. In this series of artworks I have sought connective threads between pulsating ecologies and generations-old textile traditions. As a result these three artworks discover that within home-craft textile traditions like dyeing, quilting, applique and embroidery are not only tendencies toward repurposing and handmaking, but the rhythms, patterns, and sustaining paces aligned with forces of nature, so integral to meaningful survival. When stitching I reflect on how humans have thrived by tuning into the rhythms of living organisms and environments, listening and noticing, and have myself prioritised these connections. Each of these artworks has grown from daily walks and photographs in my own archive, further developed and translated through practice and material play.
As the titles of these artworks suggest each centres around astral motifs, translating rhythms of the day, of light and the movement of the sun into rhythms and patterns of stitch. Australian light, such as the summer glare, or in this series the watchful moon in the blue sky of day, sunbeams coming through trees, or the lowering ambience of a setting sun, are continuing explorations in my practice and I reconsider this motif across Australian art history as melancholic, nostalgic, and of new beginnings. 2020 is undoubtedly a challenging year is a troubling period, and a pertinent time to question problematic histories, current actions and future trajectories. As an artist with settler colonial ancestry living upon colonised Country, it is also necessary to acknowledge that not all traditions have served well nor are my inheritance. The domestic and textile traditions I invoke are intentionally those imported to Australian shores, passed along family lines, and which when redirected start to recognise and begin a process of redressing the great damages of settler colonisation.