Craft ACT Launches two cutting-edge exhibitions

Transition and Functional Shadows are now open at Craft ACT

When: 22 March to 5 May 2018

Where: Craft ACT

‘These two beautiful exhibitions smash preconceived ideas about craft, mosaics and nature-based residencies. Expect the unexpected and some of the very best in contemporary craft and design from Canberra and across Australia,’ said Craft ACT CEO and Artistic Director Rachael Coghlan.

Transitions features the work of Helen Bodycomb, Pamela Irving, Rachel Bremner, Caitlin Hughes and Kate Butler and explores mosaic as a vehicle for complex artistic expression and conceptual investigation using traditional methods and experimental techniques. In the last two decades there has been a resurgence of the ancient craft of mosaics both internationally and in Australia, with numerous Australian practitioners gaining international recognition. Despite the current surge in contemporary mosaics in Australia it is a little known phenomena. This exhibition seeks to address this imbalance.

‘Once a sign of power and wealth, mosaics fell out of favour during the renaissance. With the division between fine art and craft (and the accompanying value assumptions) firmly established, mosaic found itself on the wrong side of the divide, relegated to the status of ‘women’s handicraft’ or ‘outsider art’. Sentimental and decorative, mosaic wasn’t the stuff of serious artists. Transitions, turns these assumptions on their head; a very exciting prospect in the contemporary resurgence of this art form’ says Kate Nixon, President of Ausglass.

Functional Shadows is a solo exhibition by Marilou Chagnaud and narrates a journey between two places: a research period at the Australian War Memorial followed by a residence at Gudgenby Ready-Cut Cottage in the Namadgi National Park.  Craft ACT’s 2017 artist‐in-residence Marilou Chagnaud presents a new body of work exploring forms, objects and perception dealing with concepts developed during WWII around the techniques of camouflage. Craft ACT: Craft + Design Centre Artist-in-Residency program is presented each year in partnership with ACT Parks & Conservation Service. Our 2017 research partner was the Australian War Memorial.

‘As a body of artistic works Functional Shadows represents a considered yet reflective period of natural immersion for Marilou. It invites us to pause and reflect, to question our ability to make sense of the world around us, our natural world,’ said Brett McNamara, Manager of Namadgi National Park.

Image: Pamela Irving, Gluttony (2017/ 2018) Ceramic, cement board, vitreous tiles, marble, dollhouse figures, doll parts, 38 x 42 x 24