Wednesday, February 23, 2011

About Time in Horsham

(l to r) Anthony Camm, Mardi Nowak and Adam Harding at Horsham Regional Art Gallery ( l to r: tapestries by Valerie Kirk, Kate Derum and Gerda van Hamond)

Our touring exhibition, 'About Time: Australian Studio Tapestry 1975-2005' was officially opened at Horsham Regional Art Gallery on Sunday 20 February at 3pm. The exhibition looks great in the gallery's temporary home. It was nice to see many people from Horsham's textile community in attendance and the inclusion of a Horsham community tapestry at the entrance to the exhibition was a nice reminder of the importance of the community tapestry movement in the studio tapestry story. Horsham Regional Art Gallery Director, Adam Harding was a great host and with his colleague Michael Shiell has done a great job in presenting and promoting the show.

We are thrilled that Mardi Nowak, who is an artist-weaver featured in 'About Time', has agreed to deliver public programs to support the exhibition's tour throughout regional Victoria. The day after the opening, Mardi presented a very successful talk in Horsham to over 50 high school students from across the Wimmera. Thanks Mardi! Mardi is also Curator of the Town Hall Gallery in Hawthorn.

The 'About Time' catalogue essays are now available to read on-line at Craft Victoria's 'Craft Culture' respository of craft writing. Ararat Regional Art Gallery Director, Anthony Camm's essay provides a response to the works in the show and their place in the rise of the studio tapestry movement. Essays by notable artist-weavers, Professor Kay Lawrence AM, Sara Lindsay and Hilary Green, from a section of the catalogue called, 'Reflections from the Field', can also be read on-line.

The Horsham show closes on 6 March, after which the exhibition will travel to Swan Hill Regional Art Gallery (1 July-14 Aug)and Central Goldfields Art Gallery in Maryborough (4 Sept-9 Oct). 'About Time' is funded by the Regional Exhibitions Touring Initiative and its catalogue is sponsored by the Gordon Darling Foundation.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Nalda Searles - Drifting in My Own Land

Debby and Mark installing Nalda Searles' 'Loitering at the Dancehall' (2008)

'Nalda Searles - Drifting in My Own Land' - an ART ON THE MOVE touring exhibition - will open at Ararat Regional Art Gallery tomorrow and will continue until 3 April 2011. We have just finished installing the exhibition and have had a lot of fun discovering Nalda's different artworks hidden in the many crates that carried them across the Nullabor to Ararat, which is the first gallery beyond Western Australia to present the exhibition. Nalda's exhibition will appeal to people interested in both surface design in textiles and the sculptural use of fibre materials. This is an exhibition that will no doubt attract many visitors given Nalda's profile in the textile/fibre art world.

Nalda Searles is a living icon of Western Australian art. For nearly thirty years she has been an innovator in the use of native plant fibres and found objects from the environment for the production of fibre-textiles, sculpture and installation artworks. Her exhibition is an expression of identity in relation to physical and social landscape. She has drawn on her own life, memories of her parents and the experiences of numerous regional women she has known in the gradual development of the twenty one exhibition works on view.

Nalda will travel to Ararat for a closing reception on Friday 1 April at 6pm, which will feature closing remarks from exhibition project coordinator, Christina McGuinness. Prior to the official closing, Nalda will present a free artist's talk at 4.30pm.

Ararat Regional Art Gallery will also offer an intensive residential workshop with Nalda Searles from 1 to 3 April 2011. The workshop will be held at Allanvale Shearers’ Quarters, located on a magnificent working sheep property, in the vicinity of the Great Western wineries and within a half‐hour scenic drive to the Grampians. The fee is $330 (including GST) per person, which includes the two day workshop, including materials, basic twin‐share accommodation and meals, including a Saturday night catered dinner. There are only a few places remaining and payment in advance is required to secure a place. For information and application forms, phone
(03) 5352 2836 or email:

For more information about Nalda you can visit her blogs: Fodder for Making and The Stringmakers, or read an Artlink review of 'Nalda Searles - Driting in My Own Land' by textile artist and writer, Holly Story.

The national tour of this exhibition is managed by ART ON THE MOVE. This exhibition is supported by Visions of Australia, an Australian Government program supporting touring exhibitions by providing funding assistance for the development and touring of Australian cultural material across Australia.