Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Momentum: The 18th Tamworth Fibre Textile Biennial

I've just come back from Tamworth for the opening of Momentum: The 18th Tamworth Fibre Textile Biennial. This post is showing photos of the exhibition, with some photos from the opening weekend, and a brief description of the public programmes that went ahead.

Before I left for Tamworth, I was afraid (see this post) that it would be primitive if not dangerous, but it turned out to be quite nice. Tamworth reminds me of one of those suburbs out west when you're heading along Parramatta Rd (for those who know Sydney) - lots of car yards, one-story buildings. Most of my time was spent in the gallery, attending artist's talks, and a panel discussion, and then a field trip to a smaller town outside of Tamworth, Nundle, to see a wool mill. It was a great opportunity to meet a lot of the other artists in the show, and hear them talking about their work.

Here are some shots of the gallery, front and side:

The gallery is on the second floor, with the library on the ground floor. A banner for the show is at the bottom of the stairs to entice people up to see the show:

This is the view of the show to the right when you come into the gallery:

From the left: Demelza Sherwood's Horse and Zebra (2008); one of Robyn Glade-Wright's works (on the next panel, 2006); Cecilia Heffer's Shadow Traces (2008 - the white panel hanging from the ceiling); Burn Out Series (2008) by Mandy Gunn behind that; also on the far wall is From the Heart 1 (2007) by Christine Atkins; my work is the three panels, Six Degrees (2004-07 - see this post again, or if you haven't already for further details); then Alana Clifton-Cunningham and Annabelle Collett's works on the wall on the right.

This is a closer shot of my work, with Alana's Second Skin (2007) series, and Fiona Gavino's Perspectives Shift (2008) in the foreground:

This is a view to the left when you enter the gallery:

From the left: Debra Porch's My Eiffels series (2006-08); works from Annie Trevillian's Bodywrap Series (2008); a series of woven rings by Jane Bowden (2007-08); two works by Melissa Hirsch on the far wall (the red and white coral works, 2006); Kelly Leonard's A Weaver's Perspective (2 panels, 2008); the works in the circle are called Tinkering with Nature - A Decorative Response (2008) by Vicki Mason; and then 2 printed textiles from Maningrida's Babbarra Designs - Susan Marrawar's Black and White Fish Traps, and Deborah Wurrkidj's Purple, Orange and Green Dilly Bag and Fish Trap (both 2008).

These works are on the central wall of the gallery:

Lucille Martin's Lace Tree (2007); 3 pieces by Jill Kinnear(2008); and re-collection:specimens 1-67 (2007-08) by Louise Saxton. All of the photos above were supplied by Sandra McMahon, the Director of the Tamworth Regional Gallery. There is an excellent catalogue available. Contact the gallery for details.

At the opening, during curator Valerie Kirk's speech, the artists who were present were invited up the front (and photographed by Pam Brown):

From the left: Elefteria Vlavianos, the two artists from Babbarra Designs, Demelza Sherwood, Christine Atkins, Cecilia Heffer, Alana Clifton-Cunningham, Elisa Markes-Young, Hilary Green, Liz Jeneid (in front), Robyn Glade-Wright (behind), Lucille Martin, Kelly Leonard, Mandy Gunn, and me next to the speaker, looking a bit like Kevin Rudd!

This is a photo from the panel discussion on the Saturday afternoon:

Martien van Zullen (standing) was the moderator, with Valerie Kirk, Christine Atkins, Louise Saxton, and Alana Clifton-Cunningham on the panel. In the corner is Ainslie Murray's An Architecture of Thread and Gesture (2008), and the three white works are by Robyn Glade-Wright. I had arrived at the gallery in the morning for the talks by Lucille Martin, Mandy Gunn, Kelly Leonard and Elisa Markes-Young, but found that the camera I'd borrowed had flat batteries, so no photos of them unfortunately.

These are the talks from Sunday morning. First is Elefteria Vlavianos talking about her work, the Touch series (2007). :

Liz Jeneid giving her artist's talk, with her work Tea Party (2008):

Demelza Sherwood with Susie, The Pink Balloon and Other Tales (2008):

Here's me waving my arms around while giving my talk:

And here's an extra shot, courtesy of Annie Trevillian, of me with the (no doubt enthralled) audience:

Hmmm... I hear you think, Rodney, why are the weavings in the work behind you running vertically when the earlier photos showed them running horizontally? I'm glad you asked. There was a slight technical glitch over the opening weekend in regard to the hanging of my work, but it has been suitably dealt with and now the work is hanging horizontally with the names running vertically.

A number of similar themes came out in the artists' talks, especially the amount of time that it takes a lot of the artists to make their work, as well as the amount of time that the artists need to spend at jobs to earn money to enable them to make their art. A perennial problem in all areas of the art world.

And here's one final shot, of Cecilia Heffer with a better view of her works. On the wall behind her is Penny Malone's Gum Blossom and Fashion Fan (2007):

Here's an image of one of Elisa Markes-Young's works in the show (from The Zebra Factory Blog):

The Zebra-Factory Blog also has a page from a Tamworth publication with photos from the opening night, a video walk-through of the exhibition, and some great commentary on some of the work. Overall it's a great blog that I can only aspire to (if I were a better writer, and didn't just report on the facts and only the facts!).

I did take more photos of the other artists, but unfortunately the camera I was using was a point and snap digital camera, and photos that looked in focus on the camera screen turned out to be not so great on the computer screen. If anyone has better photos, or more detailed images, then I would love to add them here.

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