Only four and a half hours drive from my side of Melbourne, the Horsham Regional Art Gallery proved worth the visit. It is located in what I assume is the older section of the Town Hall that has had a squiggle added to the top.
The exhibition I travelled to see last Tuesday consisted of woven works from the Ararat Regional Art Gallery Collection. This gallery decided in the 1970s to collect textile and fibre art and now has the premier collection of such works in Victoria if not Australia.
Works shown in Enmeshed ranged from the boldly experimental craft revival of the ’70s to recent work in all manner of fibres.
A few of my favourites.
Sara Lindsay, originally from England, is a founding weaver of the Australian Tapestry Workshop. Her tapestry is tightly woven using commercially manufactured gingham cloth.
Elizabeth Djutarra from North East Arnhem land uses traditional weaving techniques in constructing a very large floor mat from dyed and natural pandanus fibre.
Olga de Amaral’s Shield in Three Colours is a monumental piece that hangs from the ceiling and pools on the floor. The woven wool strips are themselves woven and interlaced with he bound rope that directs the eye down and up.
Transparent weaving was used by Mary Beeston, the designer, and Larry Beeston, the weaver. Two pieces are hung almost together and the light from the rear reveals the view outside the kitchen window. The fine linen ground is woven on a four shaft loom with the pattern in a heavier yarn woven at the same time. This piece is worked sideways. A class in this technique was run at the Handweavers and Spinners Guild Summer School this year and I hope it is repeated.
One of four square tapestries in Marcel Marois’ piece concerning environmental elements that can be both nurturing and destructive. This work Blue represents the air.
Roma Centre was an abstract painter who bought a treadle loom and taught herself to weave in order to take a teaching job. This work is made from a number of panels stitched together and close examination reveals that it is not traditional tapestry but created on a shaft loom with woven textural patterns as well as the tapestry style colour shapes.