Craft / “Transformation Craft ACT Annual Members’ Exhibition”. At Craft ACT, until December 14, Reviewed by MEREDITH HINCHLIFFE
CRAFT ACT celebrates its 50th birthday this year and this is a magnificent exhibition on which to end the celebratory year.
The gold-painted plinths will give viewers a clue about the significance of this anniversary.
More than 80 artists are exhibiting over 100 pieces.
Exhibitors include well established artists such as Mel Douglas – showing “Overlap” a nest of bowls in rich gold glass, with superbly fine rims, and Monique van Nieuwland showing two works titled “Common Ground” in jacquard weaving with silk and polyester. She combines the bark of the spotted gum within a Venn diagram. Delicate floral designs contrast with the bark.
Melanie Olde is a relatively new exhibitor and is showing a three-dimensional vessel ‘Bio Symmetry vessel’ a multi-layered hand woven, hand-dyed object in paper yarn. Olde is an experienced ‘complex weaver’, and this work is an excellent example of her skills and knowledge.
Sally Blake is showing a striking work titled “Great Sooty Owl”. The work is in ink, pinpricks and plant-dyed silk stitched to paper. The face of the owl, with its huge dark eyes, is shown against a dark, starry sky and stares at the visitors to the show. Blake feels strongly about the disconnection of humans’ interaction with the natural world.
Several artists are showing furniture.
Rolf Barfoed is showing a pair of bedside cabinets titled “Louvre” in Tasmanian Oak. They are functional, with clean, simple lines. There is no fuss with these pieces, created to last for many generations.
Another simple piece of furniture is “Ari Stool” by Hiroshi Yamaguchi. Yamaguchi trained in a traditional Japanese private school in Takayama, Japan, a town known for its carpentry tradition. The slit in the curved seat and the rail underneath are curved, one responding to the other.
It is impossible to discuss all the pieces in this large show. Works in metal and ceramics are included, as well as those I have mentioned. The outstanding thing is the level of skill in execution and design in all works.
I encourage readers to visit the exhibition and to read the full catalogue – only available online, unfortunately – to gain a full understanding of the artists’ thoughts and intentions.
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