Review: Fresh and joyous exhibition

visual arts “Inside” – New Objects + Textiles by Megan Jackson At Canberra Contemporary Art Space, 19 Furneaux Street, Manuka until June 8, 2014. Open 12 pm – 4pm Wednesday to Sunday Reviewer: Meredith Hinchliffe

IN the 1950s, modern furniture, made from Australian timbers by Australian designers was enhanced by curtain fabric designed by Australian textile artists.

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New technologies enabled new fibres to be used for upholstery: simplicity and minimalism were paramount.

Over fifty years later, Megan Jackson is creating upholstery and curtain fabrics that reflect similar principles: simple, minimalist and clean, they are bright and contemporary.

Jackson has created new designs for this exhibition and with the use of different colour ways is showing seven small groupings of work in a particularly strong use of the space in this gallery. The bright, light colours on white create fresh and joyous fabrics.

‘Arch’ fabric is a geometric design, with blocks, lines and curves. Even in a one-colour print, the fabric is energetic and visually engaging. Jackson is showing the same fabric in a vibrant combination of orange, dark navy blue and grey on white. By making up small objects, such as cushions and ottomans, Jackson highlights the way the fabrics will look when combined with each other. In other ranges, lines, large dots and outlines create lively designs.

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Jackson is extending her exploration of form, and has designed ceramic bowls and small wooden objects to enhance the fabrics. I think more work needs to be done on these, and I congratulate her for working in less familiar media.

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