Sunday, March 2, 2014

Paull McKee and John Parkes

  Ararat Regional Art Gallery presents two distinct yet related exhibitions by Australia’s most prominent male textile artists, Paull McKee and John Parkes. Paull McKee's 'The Art of Repair' and John Parkes' 'Present in the Process' were presented from 30 January to 16 March 2014.

Paull and John have developed their practices on opposite sides of the Australian continent: John in Perth and Paull in Canberra.  At first glance what links them is the use of reclaimed materials. These similarities soon diverge through the artists’ different approaches to their materials. The artists share an immense respect for the utilitarian origin of cloth - highlighting remnant marks and signs of wear and tear - with reference to the relationships of cloth to memories, the body and the environment. You can view the catalogue online here.

John Parkes was in residence at the gallery from 31 January to 2 February 2014 and during his stay in Ararat he established a stitching circle in the gallery. John was mentored in Perth as a student by the late textile artist, Elsje van Keppel, and he remains a passionate champion of her legacy. This photo shows John with local resident Nolene Fraser admiring Elsje van Keppel's 'Equivocal Landscape' 1991-92 from the gallery's permanent collection. Nolene also brought with her a van Keppel piece from her own collection.