Weaving describes an action, and it also connotes a tradition imbued with cultural heritage. Distinctively and regionally diverse, the Indigenous fibre art of Australia is nonetheless expressive of a community of practice, unified by the amazing ability of practitioners to transform raw materials into creative expressions of story and place.
Connected to women’s traditional knowledge of plant materials and harvesting, fibre art is inextricably linked with the seasonal availability of resources and the transformation of raw materials into dyes, yarn and threads. The works, and their creators, perform a most special mixture of artistry and alchemy.
Accordingly, The Alchemists showcases the recent work of artists and art centres from Anindilyakwa, Bula’ bula, Elcho Island, Merrepen and Maningrida in the Northern Territory, Milingimbi and Gapuwiyak in East Arnhem Land, Pormpuraaw Art Centre in Cape York, Baluk Arts in the Mornington Peninsula, and closer to home, Martumili Artists in the Pilbara. The exhibition also features the work of Tasmanian artist Vicki West, Cairns-based artist Grace Lillian Lee and Janine McCaulley Bott of Western Australia.
Eight million tonnes of plastic enters our ocean every year. There is 500 times more microplastic in the sea than there are stars in our galaxy, and by 2050 it is estimated that there will be more plastic than fish. With only nine percent of the world’s plastic recycled, artists are developing ways to rethink the plastic problem. Plasticology, opening on Thursday, 12 March 2020, features creative approaches to the recycling of plastics by artists Leeroy New (Philippines), Yufang Chi (Taiwan/Australia), Eko Nugroho (Indonesia), and Angela Yuen (Hong Kong).
One of Indonesia’s most respected contemporary artists, Eko Nugroho’s work has been exhibited and collected all over the world. He makes art for and of the people, based in the street and on his own experiences, using humour and irony to respond to social and environmental concerns. He works across many mediums, including drawing, painting, sculpture, video, performance, and street art and often adapts ideas from science fiction, comic books and other forms of popular culture merged with traditional Indonesian artforms. Look out for Nugroho’s bold graphics and hybrid-aliens or part-man part-machine figures, with faces concealed by masks, helmets, or machine parts, seeming never to reveal their true selves. Who will you see looking back at you?
When hit exhibition Mulyana: A Man, A Monster and the Sea transformed The Goods Shed into a colourful underwater wonderland last year, more than 30,000 people visited the Claremont cultural hub. Now, FORM is continuing to explore themes around the ocean in an artistic exchange with Western Australia’s regional neighbours.