Exploded textiles is an exhibition of textile-based works by leading Australian and international contemporary artists, drawn from the collections of the Art Gallery of NSW and Tamworth Regional Gallery.
On exhibition until Sunday, December 1 at Tamworth Regional Gallery, Exploded textiles presents textiles as a potent conceptual medium, one rich with diverse historical, social and political associations from the wider world and will showcase the artistic and cultural identity of the New England North West, while highlighting the region's rich Aboriginal heritage.
Textiles are a compelling medium in contemporary art. Not only the realm of textile artists, they are the subject of enquiry for many artists with a more conceptual approach to practice.
None of the works included in Exploded textiles is an object of "textile art" in the usual understanding of the term. They are textiles both by nature and by default; the result of their content as much as their form. Any notion of them as "purely" textiles is exploded.
Some of the artists use textiles to declare, confess and seek dialogue.
These textile-based works operate as potent conceptual signifiers. Some of the artists use textiles to declare, confess and seek dialogue. Others make connections between nature, culture, history and identity. For some, the impacts and legacies of colonialism are the subject of investigation. And finally, some mine the techniques of textile-making, but use surprising materials, formations, or activations while doing so.
Tamworth Regional Gallery's association with textile art dates back to the 1970s. The gallery has focused on developing an Australian textile collection that embraces all related art and craft forms.
The nationally significant collection comprises excellent examples of works that document the changes in textile practice over the past 40 years.
Exploded textiles is an exhibition for Artstate Tamworth, a four year program by Regional Arts NSW which celebrates excellence in regional art practice, and explores exciting possibilities for arts and cultural development across the state. Artstate Tamworth will be in Tamworth from Thursday October 31 to November 3.
Bridget Guthrie is Director at Tamworth Regional Gallery.
Jackie Dunn is Special Exhibitions Curator at the Art Gallery of NSW.