Exhibition challenges conventional views of craft

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“Map” by Paul Yore, 2012.

THE Museum of Australian Democracy was busy overturning conventional views of craft as “staid and homely” with its launch of “Craftivism. Dissident Objects and Subversive Forms”. 

It’s a curated exhibition from Shepparton Art Museum being toured nationally by NETS Victoria and as the show’s suggests, explores political and social issues through craft as it showcases the work of 17 contemporary Australian artists such as Canberrans Raquel Ormella and James Tylor, who utilise craft-making traditions to push the boundaries and explore political and social issues.

“Propaganda textiles” by Jemima Wyman, (detail) 2016-17.

Co-curator of the show Anna Briers says: “Broadening our understanding of craft-making traditions, the artists in this exhibition subvert and extend these forms as vehicles for activism and social change, reflecting on the world in which we live.”

Edwina Jans, the manager of heritage, communications and development at MoAD, described Craftivism as “a non-threatening form of protest that can still have impact and drive social change”.

“Archiloom” by Slow Art Collective

Today (September 6) at MoAD, members of Melbourne artist group Slow Art Collective were hosting a workshop for students from the ANU School of Art and Design, where they helped build the collective’s participatory artwork, “Archiloom”, a hands-on collaborative artwork, which visitors will be able add to as the exhibition proceeds over the next few months.

“Craftivism. Dissident Objects and Subversive Forms”, Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, daily until February 2, 2020.


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Helen Musa
“CityNews” arts editor

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