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interpretations of vessels by contemporary fibre artists


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HOLDING interpretations of vessels by contemporary fibre artists

HOLDING: Contemporary Fibre Art presents a unique and diverse range of fibre art. Showcasing 25 international, national and local fibre artists, this exhibition explores - through textile mediums and techniques - ideas surrounding the “vessel” as a form in contemporary fibre art. The exhibition is curated by Anne Kempton Director of Timeless Textiles, the only dedicated commercial fibre art gallery in Australia. The title HOLDING can allude to a sense of belonging, homeliness, security and memories. For the curator it’s a gentle nurturing of our souls, our world and each other. The materials for each of these works of art have been created or reused, held (sometimes for long periods) in the artist’s hands during the making process.

The environment is also a source of inspiration for many textile artists; drawing upon the world around them using both natural and synthetic materials, each artist is the primary creator of their work, all of which are layered with personal and individual meanings. HOLDING brings together fibre artists from Austria, Canada, Hungary, the Netherlands, Spain and the USA as well as Australia and Newcastle revealing their deft ability with the fibre textile medium and the realisation of this in three dimensional objects, from small and intricate works of art to larger scale works. It it showing at Newcastle Art Gallery NSW from Saturday 26 November 2016 until 5 February 2017. Anne Kempton Curator November 2016

www.timelesstextiles.com.au


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Participating Artists

HOLDING interpretations of vessels by contemporary fibre artists

PAGE

4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28

Brett Alexander (Australia) Kerstin Bennier (Austria) Lanny Bergner (USA) Eszter Bornemisza (Hungary) Michèle Fandel Bonner (USA) Katherine Heinrich (Australia) Bryant Holsenbeck (USA) Pam Hovel (Australia) Cathy Jack Coupland (Australia) Tim Johnson (UK/Spain) Anne Kempton (Australia) Sachiko Kotaka (Australia) Anita Larkin (Australia) Pam MacGregor (USA) Amanda McCavour (Canada) Dorothy McGinness (USA) Sophie Munns (Australia) Alison Munro (Australia) Elizabeth Rhoads Read (USA) Nalda Searles (Australia) Ines Seidel (Germany) Els van Baarle (the Netherlands) Shannon Weber (USA) Ilka White (Australia) Meredith Woolnough (Australia)


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Brett Alexander

Australia

HOLDING interpretations of vessels by contemporary fibre artists

This ‘artextile’ explores the interrelationships of the French term ‘à faire’ which translates as ‘to make’ and a similar sounding English word ‘affair’ which can be defined as a passionate sexual relationship. Alexander’s ‘making’ investigates how the term ‘affair’ is defined within same sex relationships. His work is not exclusively dealing with men who identify as homosexual but includes men who have sex with men who identify as ‘straight’ (heterosexual), bisexual or other. Illustrating in some cases literally, and others cryptically, how fetish operates with in this male-sex genre. Alexander utilises a range of materials including textile, paper and found objects in his work which often challenges social and cultural understandings of textiles and their relationship to gender and sexuality. Every time I have sex I think I might die (PEP/PreP version)

2016 Unbleached jute, bleached jute, fibre reactive dyes, found object. H 500 x W 100 x D 100 cm

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He gathers his materials and inspiration from around the world as he is invited from one continent to the next, exhibiting and presenting his work.


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Kerstin Bennier

Austria

HOLDING interpretations of vessels by contemporary fibre artists

Kerstin Bennier is an artist who works in a variety of textile media. By creating situations and breaking the passivity of the spectator, Bennier wants the viewer to become part of the art as a kind of added component. Her artworks are characterised by the use of everyday objects in an atmosphere of middleclass mentality in which recognition plays an important role. By focusing on techniques and materials, she considers making art a craft which is executed using clear formal rules and which should always refer to social reality. Her works are notable for their perfect finish and tactile nature. This is of great importance and bears witness to great craftsmanship. By taking daily life as subject matter while commenting on the everyday aesthetic of middle class values, she often creates work using creative game tactics, but these are never permissive. Play is a serious matter: during the game, different rules apply than in everyday life and even everyday objects undergo transubstantiation. Feeling of Security

2016 Hand spun merino wool, crochet, leather, iron. H 50 x W 50 x D 50 cm

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Her works are based on inspiring situations: visions that reflect a sensation of indisputability and serene contemplation, combined with subtle details of odd or eccentric, humoristic elements.


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Lanny Bergner

HOLDING interpretations of vessels by contemporary fibre artists

Atomic Vessel

2016 Stainless steel mesh, wire, silicone. H 48 x W 35.5 x D 35.5 cm

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USA

Lanny Bergner is a mixed-media sculptor, installation, fiber and sculptural basketry artist. He was born in Anacortes, WA in 1952 and received his BFA in sculpture from the University of Washington in 1981 and an MFA in sculpture from Tyler School of Art, Temple University in 1983. His work is in numerous museum collections including the Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA, Museum of Art and Design, NY, NY and The Central Museum of Textile, Łódz, Poland. In 1995 he won the Betty Bowen Memorial Award, administered by the Seattle Art Museum. In 2005 he won a Gold Prize at the Cheongju International Craft Biennale in Cheongju, Korea. In 2010 he was one of five American artists to exhibit in the prestigious 13th International Triennial of Tapestry in Łódz, Poland. In 2017 his work “Celestial Vessel #7” will be exhibited in “Rooted, Revived, Reinvented: Basketry in America,” a traveling exhibition organised by the National Basketry Organization and the University of Missouri. Lanny’s works reference biomorphic forms (plant biology, microorganisms, undersea creatures), earth geology and cosmology. They engage the viewer with glimpses into a world where nature and manmade material coalesce and they celebrate the mystery and wonder of it all. He has been creating biomorphic and geometric constructions and installations out of metal mesh since 1983. He maintains a studio on Fidalgo Island near Anacortes, WA in USA.


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Eszter Bornemisza

Hungary

HOLDING interpretations of vessels by contemporary fibre artists

I create wall-hangings, installations and objects from the ubiquitous material of waste newspaper and cloth. The choice of material plays a central role in the work as it provides further visual experiences by their ephemeral character. As an urban citizen living in Budapest the theme of my work is revolving around ideas that reflect our relationships to past and present cultures of the place: the layers of existence. Imprints of ages in the earth and in our minds, signs and traces and their meanings for us, their personal and social narratives are in the focus of my interest. The motives come from my keen interest in the graphic appearance of old and new maps. The fragmented, distorted or disintegrated city plans are used as signs, traces, the silt of the past, blended with modern highway and metro layouts, patterns of present urban life. Maps both real and subjective are imprints of our living in a system, and like labyrinths they offer a rich ground for associations, deepening our understanding of our life and circumstances. As the urban structure develops, widens, thickens, clots and creates subsystems in history, the cities that live within us undergo an endless and continuous evolution.

Reminiscent Gown

2016 Overprinted, dyed, ripped newspaper. H 250 x W 148 x D 5 cm

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Michèle Fandel Bonner

HOLDING interpretations of vessels by contemporary fibre artists

Tosh

2016 Knitted dog made from plastic newspaper wrappers turned into yarn. H 14 x W 48.5 x D 13.5 cm

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USA

When an object captures my attention, I begin to collect it, amassing hundreds of specific items in my studio. After sorting and preparing a collection, I begin to assemble the many parts together with stitches, adhesive, hardware or pins, working intuitively so that the materials lead me. At times, the objects act as a link to a backstory, a feeling or an event. I don’t always immediately know what form the resulting work will take, but once I do, in a sudden flash of awareness that takes place deep into the making process, I imagine it completely realized. From there, it’s like putting a puzzle together. My work highlights the beauty, meaning, and potential of found and accumulated objects. My choice of media interrupts the typical path of overflow that, uninterrupted, often ends in trash heaps. I find inspiration in the physical characteristics of the objects that I collect, but also in their past uses and the lives they once touched. I sometimes work with communities, including homeless shelters, libraries and schools, to help me compile the objects that I collect.Time is a significant theme in my work. Many of my pieces evolve gradually over a period of months or even years, and other works are ongoing. I collect my own hair as it falls out naturally over time, and twist it into a sculpture that shows how it gradually becomes more grey, objectively demonstrating the effects of time. My sculptures often make familiar, discarded objects seem new again, lightened by distance from their old associations and transformed by my durational practice.


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Katherine Heinrich

Australia

HOLDING interpretations of vessels by contemporary fibre artists

A pair of gloves holds one’s hands, and when wearing them one’s hands can hold. The design and colour of the cuffs is inspired by the colours and designs of the 16th century.

Holding Hands

2016 Wool, glass beads; knitting and stitching. H 370 x W 150 x D 20 cm

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Bryant Holsenbeck

HOLDING interpretations of vessels by contemporary fibre artists

I have been a hunter and gatherer all my life. “What can I do with the interesting things I find?� has been a constant question for me. As a basket maker I first began thinking about how people made containers before there were stores, in times when it was urgent to gather food to survive. From folding large leaves or scoring bark to developing techniques of twining fibers to make more durable containers, societies have been figuring this out continually.

Out of Finding and Making, Something to Hold

2016 Random weave with found objects, then coated with paper pulp. H 30.5 x W 30.5 x D 30.5 cm

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USA


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Pam Hovel

Australia

HOLDING interpretations of vessels by contemporary fibre artists

Inspiration is all around me in the natural world and in my memories. My dilly bags series has evolved from my memories of a visit to the beautiful Pilbara region of Western Australia and indigenous dilly bags from the northern part of that state. I have interpreted these bags in felt using earthy natural coloured wool replicating the woven pandanas fibre traditionally used. My experience of the Pilbara region, the rugged ancient landscapes, the colours, fascinating flora, canyons and iron ore has been integrated into the felt as it has been fused into my mind.

Dilly Bag Series

2016 Wet felt using resist. H 60 x W 20 x D 10 cm

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Cathy Jack Coupland

Australia

HOLDING interpretations of vessels by contemporary fibre artists

La Ville takes the traditional quilt format ‘off the wall’ giving the viewer a very different view of an art quilt. The 3D shape encourages people to want to see what is happening around the work as well as inviting them to look inside. The design, inspired by the Sydney city skyline seen from my home, represents urbanity: home, work, friends and family – the threads of life that hold us all together.

La Ville

2016 Two layers of acrylic felt, one of wash-away along with rayon and polyester threads. Free machine embroidery. H 58.5 x W 25 x D 25 cm

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Tim Johnson

UK/Spain

HOLDING interpretations of vessels by contemporary fibre artists

Looking at historical baskets in museum collections frequently leads my work in new directions. Unfamiliar techniques and unusual materials draw my eye and inspire experimentation. Often in the absence of a traditional maker a desire to understand the structure and making processes can only be understood through hands on making, numerous mistakes and continued looking and reappraisal. This basket made from plastic drinking straws and dyed fishing line combines inspirations from South African Zulu and Aboriginal Australian basket making traditions seen on recent travels and researches. While the techniques are straightforward the way the making progresses is unusual as this basket is made on a cylindrical mould and then pinched or squashed into shape forming a base. In the context of the ‘Holding ‘exhibition I am happy that this work is made through such a manipulation of contained space. Other recent pieces have included concepts of ‘folding space’ as well as encircling or capturing space. Working and playing with different amounts of opacity in the dying of the fishing line. In this basket the transparency of the stakes or straws allows the weaving structure to be clearly seen - the normally hidden is made visible. Light and Line

2016 Plastic drinking straws, dyed fishing line, rubber tubing. Twining and Zulu spoon basket technique combined. H 48 x W 30 x D 23 cm

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Technique and material combine to create - I hope pleasing form with traditional functional references but an essentially aesthetic and delicate appearance. Is this a useful basket? What could it be for? Why would one make such things in age of modern materials and mechanisation? The basket asks a variety of questions and represents a snapshot from a longer continuity of making and experimentation.


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Anne Kempton

Australia

HOLDING interpretations of vessels by contemporary fibre artists

Holding objects that are both delicate and dispensable, that have been loving made is a treat for me. It is unimportant were they end up, the joy is in the making of layering, creating and then knowing that they can be easily crushed.

Small Delicacies Held Lightly

2016 30-40 paper pods made with hand made/painted/dyed paper: Chinese, German, English text (inspired by Ines Seidel). Each approximately H 10 x W 4 x D 2 cm

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Sachiko Kotaka

Japan/Australia

HOLDING interpretations of vessels by contemporary fibre artists

The work “Enfolded�, which has an openwork outer wall and a solid inner wall, is made from a seamless piece of felt. The outer, which holds lovingly the inner wall, is created in my Australian felt-making style and I have combined it with origami-inspired pieces relating to my cultural background.

Enfolded

2016 Merino and Corriedale wool, kimono fabrics (silk, hemp), Haori (kimono jacket) tie. H 60 x W 40 x D 25 cm

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Anita Larkin

HOLDING interpretations of vessels by contemporary fibre artists

On the Outside Looking In

2016 Collected objects, ball and glove, felted wool, textile prints of Philipino peso. H 19 x W 34 x D 30 cm Courtesy of Defiance Gallery

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Australia

A baseball glove and ball are turned inside out, revealing their inner layers of intricate workings. The felt padding that cushions the fingers inside the glove are turned toward the viewer. The process of making these humble objects are now on view. A logo on the glove indicates that this one was made in the Philippines. The weekly wage of a textile worker in The Philippines is 300 Peso, the equivalent of $9 Australian. The artwork calls to mind economic inequalities, relationships between first world and third world countries, and the value of some making skills over others. An anonymous textile factory worker has left marks on the leather. Numbers are scribbled on some of the leather pieces. In taking the glove apart and restitching it, I have left my own marks there. The felted components that cushion the player’s hand, I have remade by felting each part, and making about 10 metres of felt cording in order to lace back together the glove. The artwork associates the concealed maker with a public maker and reveals to us the interior life of an object.


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Pamela A MacGregor

USA

HOLDING interpretations of vessels by contemporary fibre artists

I have recently ventured into combining felted vessels that will house a personal totem. The totem within this vessel holds egg like structures, each rounded egg idealistically holds the birth of new and creative dreams. The definition of a totem is “something (such as an animal or plant) that is the symbol for a family, tribe, etc., especially among Native Americans� or the more modern definition that represents an idea.

Totem Of Dreams

2016 Wet felt, Finnish wool, stainless steel, hand beaded, metal rod, metal stand, hand dyed monofilament, embroidery floss. H 61 x W 20.5 x D 23 cm

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Amanda McCavour

Canada

HOLDING interpretations of vessels by contemporary fibre artists

I use a sewing machine to create thread drawings by tracing drawn lines with stitched lines. I render solid objects transparent through a technique of sewing into water soluble fabric. In the project titled, Boxes, I recreate the cardboard fruit boxes I used to move from Toronto to Philadelphia and back again. Created on a 1 to 1 scale, these highly decorated moving boxes are made flat and are then assembled into three-dimensional box forms. This piece is about travel, transport and moving, export and economy - contrasting stitching and embroidery with the mass produced object.

Box 13

2015 Thread & wire machine embroidery, folded. H 25 x W 40 x D 24 cm

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Dorothy McGuinness

USA

HOLDING interpretations of vessels by contemporary fibre artists

My medium for this unique work is watercolor paper, which I’ve painted and cut into very narrow uniform strips to achieve the precision I seek. Approaching my work as a puzzle drives me to discover new shapes and weaving innovations. I often think, “How will it work out if I try this, or how can I get this shape or pattern combination? What if I use these colors in this combination in this order? What if…” I am also very much interested in the math and geometric constraints of the work. Using hundreds of strips of paper at a time, I explore new structural forms: multiple woven units, asymmetrical corners, weaving opposite corners together, multiple-stepped corners in tandem that add structure to the work. This creates a singular look to the pieces, building unique and intriguing forms that are encoded with energy and elegance. I am intrigued by the potential outcome of any new design. The evolution of my body of work is built on taking risks, and avoiding the “known”. The risks offer challenges, which often lead to new directions. This is the excitement that keeps me working in a repetitive medium: it is an on-going meditation on improvisation, a continual experiment through which my work can progress and develop. Lime Twist

2015 Watercolor paper, acrylic paint, polyester thread. Diagonal twill woven sculptural basket. H 19 x W 7.5 x D 6 cm

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Sophie Munns

HOLDING interpretations of vessels by contemporary fibre artists

The Concertina Book Landscape of Seed Rhythms refers to the artist’s visual language featuring seed forms which began to appear in her artwork as early as 1990, and by 2009 was the catalyst for the Homage to the Seed project launched for the first of an ongoing series of Seedbank Residencies working in Botanic Gardens in Australia and the UK.

Australia

Green Book: The Seed-Collector’s Notebook IV (top)

2016 Folded book: H 16 x W 10.5 x D 3 cm

Seed Form Patterning (middle)

2016 Folded book: H 20 x W 13 x D 2.5 cm

Landscape of Seed Rhythms (bottom) 2016 Folded book: H 22 x W 14.5 x D 2 cm Acrylic paint, pigmented inks, watercolour, collage papers on recycled cotton rag paper. Three concertina books assembled from 100% recycled cotton rag paper, watercolour paper.

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Alison Munro

HOLDING interpretations of vessels by contemporary fibre artists

Indigo Homage to the Everyday

2015-16 Various yarns, crochet. 24 bottles of various dimensions Overall dimensions approximately H 125 x W 30 x D 35 cm Courtesy of Brenda May Gallery

Australia

Al Munro’s series “Homage to the Everyday (Indigo)” pays tribute to the beauty and significance of the everyday – both in terms of household objects and vernacular textile practices. These objects and practices speak of repeat encounters, quiet interactions, deep and complex relationships developed over time. The works also references the paintings of Giorgio Morandi whose calm, patient attention to painting a small set of ordinary objects throughout his career demonstrates the possibility of finding infinite interest and beauty in the commonplace. In Munro’s crocheted textiles, the forms speak of the time of the handmade, the repetition of daily routine echoed in the rows of stitches, and the soft contours giving quiet voice to the ebb and flow of the everyday. In this series she employs shades of blue, some hand-dyed with indigo and some commercially dyed blue yarns. This colour reflects Munro’s recent Australia Council residency in Japan and her interest in indigo as the colour of everyday Japanese textiles during the Edo Period.

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Elizabeth Rhoads Read

HOLDING interpretations of vessels by contemporary fibre artists

Elizabeth Rhoads Read is a collector of items others discard. She finds potential in the cast-offs and transforms them into innovative works of art. Her philosophy is to immerse herself in textures and tones to express the intensity of emotions.

USA

The vessel involves varying textures and illusive lights interspersed with minute details, concentrating on the forcefulness of dark areas and the contrast between spaces. The piece exudes recesses, secret hiding places that pull one in for shelter.

Inner Sanctum

2015-16 Fibre H 48 x W 25.5 x D 23 cm

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Nalda Searles

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Australia

HOLDING interpretations of vessels by contemporary fibre artists

We each exist within our own version of shelter. Both an internal and an external shelter/space. A girl child shelters quietly contemplating her world, seeking safety from the vicissitudes of life.

Shelter

2008-16 Native plant fibre, wild grasses, silk fragments, linen and cotton threads. Partial figure of salvaged doll toy with grass base (cymbopogan refractus). Coiled in artists unique stitch. H 58 x W 56 X D 21 cm

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Ines Seidel

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Germany

HOLDING interpretations of vessels by contemporary fibre artists

May the story hold me, may it be large and bear all of me, may it last long enough to define my features.
May the story hold you, may it be large and bear you, may it last long enough to define your features.
May the story hold you and me, may it be large and bear us. May it last long enough to carve out our features. May it give us names. May it be loose enough so we can see through it. May it be dense enough to hold us for a while together. MAY THE STORY HOLD YOU AND ME. May it hold us. May the story hold all of us.

May the Story Hold You and Me

2014 Mixed media (bowl made with teabags, wax, wire, ink. Heads made with paper, sand and cement. H 18 x 9 (diameter) cm

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Els van Baarle

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Netherlands

HOLDING interpretations of vessels by contemporary fibre artists

My source of inspiration is the past, old buildings, tracings of people, old books etc.

Letters

2016 Cotton and various fabrics, wax dye and silkscreen. H 33 x W 120 cm

Message in a bottle I

2016 Cotton and various fabrics, wax dye and silkscreen. Approximately 50 x 50 cm

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Shannon Webber

HOLDING interpretations of vessels by contemporary fibre artists

Amulet happened to start as a piece of work for the Whisper Box series which are woven of wire, layered with paper and have a screened open space, a wall mounted alter of sorts that can hold ones spoken secret thoughts, dreams and desires. But as I was working on Amulet it became very clear that this piece wanted to be sealed up and hold space, there seemed to be a strong glow about it. It wanted to be bound and protected, embellished with a Hag stone that has a long history of focus, protection, and Earth magic, and it only seemed fitting that this was the embellishment to be worn on this work. This Hag stone was collected from a special location to me on the Southern Oregon coast. I have spent more than 34 years gathering from the beach here, in fact a fair amount of the materials I use come from this very powerful place.

Amulet

USA

2016 Reclaimed construction wire, paper, encaustic, raw hemp cord, rusted washers, collected beach Hag stone. Handwoven wire frame with layer of paper and encaustic medium, wrapped with hemp cord, knotted washers and Hag stone embellishment. H 45.5 x W 21.5 x D 10 cm

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Ilka White

Australia

HOLDING interpretations of vessels by contemporary fibre artists

Made in the space between other commitments, often in transit, away from home. I’d been thinking about cycles, repetition, time, sustenance, growth and embodiment. The country I traveled made it’s way in and the forms grew slowly to feel like containers for holding myself together.

Holding 2016 Cloth and thread. Hand spun rag string and stitched coiling. A series of individual vessels. Each approximately 50 x 50 cm

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Meredith Woolnough

Australia

HOLDING interpretations of vessels by contemporary fibre artists

The Red Coral Bowl celebrates the exquisite beauty of coral while raising awareness of the plight that our coral reefs are currently facing. Corals are the backbones of the coral reef ecosystem; not only are they responsible for building the reef but they provide food, protection and a critical habitat for many species. Their loss would be a tragedy for the health of our oceans and for the planet overall. The vessel is made up of thousands of tiny stitches built up into a spherical shape reminiscent of a globe, a gentle reminder that we are holding the fate of the oceans in our hands.

Red Coral Bowl 2016 Polyester thread

H 20 x W 20 x D 20 cm

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HOLDING: contemporary fibre art exhibition, Timeless Textiles Gallery  

A unique and diverse range of fibre art showcasing 25 international, national and local fibre artists. HOLDING exhibition explores - through...

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