Monday, August 16, 2010

Australian Studio Tapestry

Above: Tim Gresham with his tapestry 'Triptych from Red (2002)
(l to r) Cresside Collette, Gerda van Hamond, Marie Cook, Sara Lindsay

Ararat Regional Art Gallery’s latest exhibition, “About Time: Australian Studio Tapestry 1975-2005” was officially opened on Saturday 14 August 2010 at 2pm by tapestry artist and Head of Art, South West TAFE, Warrnambool, Marie Cook. Marie, whose work is represented in the exhibition, joined tapestry artists from Melbourne and across Victoria at the opening.

“About Time” features 23 mostly large-scale tapestries in a rare survey of independent tapestry practice. The exhibition draws on the Gallery’s substantial holdings of studio tapestry, alongside some selected loans from other public galleries and private collections. While the exhibition does not tell the complete story of studio tapestry in Australia, it does aim to promote a greater understanding of the movement and acknowledge those who have been important in establishing and advancing this field of contemporary craft practice.

Since 2008 the Gallery’s studio tapestry sub-collection has been strengthened with acquisitions of major tapestries by important artists Kate Derum and Sara Lindsay. The “About Time” exhibition opening provided an opportunity to announce the Gallery’s successful funding application to the Robert Salzer Foundation, through the Public Galleries Association of Victoria, to support the acquisition of Tim Gresham’s ‘Triptych from Red’ from 2002.

“Triptych from Red” explores the tension between the immediacy of photography and the slowness of the weaving process. Tim, who is also a professional photographer, has distilled compositional elements from his photographs of the built environment to create this stunning abstract tapestry in three parts. Tim’s ambitious tapestry, which is presently on display in the “About Time” exhibition, took a year to weave and featured in the National Gallery of Victoria’s prestigious Colin and Cecily Rigg Craft Award in 2003. “About Time” continues until 26 September 2010.