Saturday, August 27, 2011

Sustainability in Craft and Design, Volume 3, 2011

Sustainability in Craft and Design, Volume 3, 2011 NOW ONLINE

The Craft Australia Research Centre announces the publication of the third volume of craft + design enquiry, its open access, peer-reviewed, online journal, interrogating discourses surrounding craft and design practice. Edited by Dr Kevin Murray, Sustainability in Craft and Design explores how craft and design responds to the challenge of global warming by facilitating social change. The six papers published in this issue by Rod Bamford, Matthew Kiem, Peter Hughes, Mary Loveday Edwards, Sharmila Wood, Emilia Ferraro, Rehema White, Eoin Cox , Jan Bebbington and Sandra Wilson examine issues of sustainability in relation to aspects of craft and design practice in Australia, the United Kingdom and India

Volume 3 online

craft + design enquiry
Call for Papers Volume 5: website
Craft Australia blog

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Shunyam Smith Tapestries


Shunyam Smith Essence of Place

Stories are a fundamental and defining characteristic of all human life. They are receptacles for our memories,
dreams and myths. As repositories, these stories form a foundation on which traditions, cultures and histories are
created. Memory is given shape and force through an array of artefacts and practices, rituals and monuments.
They become the stories we live by, that shape our sense of who we are.
Tapestry as a medium has traditionally been used both to tell stories, personal and historical, full of allusion and
metaphor. It requires a deeper reading to uncover the hidden layers of meanings and memories that are entwined
with the physicality of the material, and the slow nature of the weaving.
Working in the field of ‘landscape’ today can have its pitfalls, avoiding the weight of past representations, finding a
way to liberate the image from the pictorial. This work is an exploration of the essence of place – an attempt to
chart my relationship with the place I inhabit. Cropping and framing images, varying perspectives, and focusing on
small details, intensifies and also frees them, finding the links often hidden in insignificant objects that weave nature
and human culture together.
Stories of places are created by history as well as their physicality, and to begin to understand the essence of a
place one must absorb these slowly, over time. Some of these tapestries tell more obvious stories, of human time
and histories, but always shaped by the intangible boundaries between land, humankind, and the influences of
place. For decades now, watching the changing process of the land where I live has allowed me to ‘read’ and
absorb these stories and memories stored in trees, rocks, lakes, rivers, forests and mountains. Our human
memories are traced in objects all around, and nature has written her history everywhere if we choose to look slowly
and deeply.
The Spotted Gums tell of their usefulness to man with their tall strong, straight trunks. The Snowgums, so like the
‘Spotties’ in some of their habits and their beauty, with their fragile, bent and twisted shapes, are considered to be of
no use at all, telling of the values we humans place on the strong and the weak. Rocks tell of deep time, stories of
elemental powers, of volcanos, waves and wind etched into their shapes. Beaches and rivers change with floods
and droughts, but lakes change their shape more slowly - the result of human interference. Marks on trees and
rocks relate them to each other, and through these silent notations I read histories and memories that talk of the
relationship between all things.
At the heart of my work is this interrelation of stories and the material, their mutual intrication a metaphor for the
weaving process, revealing the richness and complexity of the essence of this place. The reality is that the whole
world is revealed in the local and the intimate. Tangible objects carry our cultural heritage, helping to illuminate the
present moment and even the future if we care to look slowly and deeply. We can see the riches and incredible
beauty we have all around us but also how fragile and transient it is.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Net Works Australia: Balba Simbiken will be conducting a BILUM workshop...

Net Works Australia: Balba Simbiken will be conducting a BILUM workshop...: " Image taken from tribaloutpost Dear All Balba Simbiken will be conducting a BILUM workshop at Strathnairn on Saturday 21st May from ..."

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

“MAIZ”/”WATER SONGS”, and other works, Exhibitions

Maiz (corn) is embedded in the culture of the Americas. From its origins in the highlands to today’s massive agricultural production in the mechanized plains, corn has played an essential role in the development of civilization.

During a few weeks during the winters of 2008-2010, an international group of weavers meeting at the Lurie-Larochette studio in El Tuito, Cabo Corrientes, focused on the theme of “Maiz”, as a woven homage celebrating the rich diversity of Mexican culture

“MAIZ” participating artists:

Louise Abbott, USA. Gabriel Canales, Mexico. Antoinette Dumper, Canada. Elaine Duncan, Canada. Jean Pierre Larochette, USA. Yadin Larochette, USA. Donna Millen, Canada. Sonja Miremont, USA. Christine Rivers, Canada. Victoria Stone, USA. Elaine Todd-Stevens, USA. Nancy Trissel, USA. Sally Williamson, USA. Jackie Wollenberg, USA.


“Only song can respond to the call that are the 9 tapestries that together form the “Water Songs” of my friends, weaver Jean Pierre Larochette and designer Yael Lurie. The heart recognizes its own mute, but pulsating language, in the visions, dilated in meditation, of the natural world” wrote UC Berkeley Professor Laura Perez. These tapestries dedicated to the theme of water, were created between the years 1999-2009 in the artist’s studios of El Tuito, C.C. and Berkeley, CA.


University of Guadalajara Vallarta Campus (CUC)

January 25 – March 5, 2011

Reception February 2, 6 – 8 PM

Peter Gray Museum of Art Website

Susan Maffei Tapestry Artist Book

The project “Narratives” is a collaboration between graphic designer, Milena Leznicki and artist, Susan Martin Maffei. It features 14 tapestry scroll works by the artist in 19 fold out color offset printed plates as well as a small essay about the relationship of the works to this book form.

Susan Maffei Website

Friday, November 12, 2010

The University House Tapestries Publication

University House, ANU has produced a brochure about the set of commissioned tapestries between 2004 and 2007.

University House, ANU has produced a brochure about the set of commissioned tapestries between 2004 and 2007.


Telephone: (02) 6125 5211
Free call: 1800 814 864
International Telephone: + 61 2 6125 5211
Facsimile: (02) 6125 5252
International Facsimile: + 61 2 6125 5252
Address: University House
The Australian National University
Cnr Balmain Cr & Liversidge St
Postal Address: GPO Box 1535
Email Address:

Sunday, September 12, 2010

NETS exhibition

13 – 30 September 2010
Opening:Thursday 16 September 5.30pm
Opening Speaker: Avi Amesbury
An exhibition project spanning the textile departments of The Australian
National University, Australia, Novia University of Applied Arts, Finland and
University of Cumbria, UK and their associated communities of graduates and
School of Art Foyer Gallery Canberra


An international textile exhibition project spanning countries and continents


‘NETS’ is a global project across the textile departments of three universities: University of Cumbria (UK), Novia University of Applied Sciences (Finland), Australia National University, Canberra (Australia). The project aims to build connections between textile departments within higher education and explore new collaborative forms of education through textile practice.


Textile based production, the mother of both technology and modern design, is one of the oldest industries in the world. ‘NETS’ is a joint global venture between three universities with the aim of exploring current issues through textile practice and to raise the profile of textiles education internationally.

‘NETS’ believes in creativity, imagination and collaboration. By nurturing a functioning network between different textile institutions, we can celebrate the diversity of artistic power, dynamics and optimism of textile practice.

Each University will interpret and curate their own ‘NETS’ exhibition based upon the generic theme through collaborative discussion. The exhibitions will contain physical and ‘virtual’ examples of artefacts created by all artists represented by each country. The textile industry has always provided a platform for blending tradition with new technology. ‘NETS’ explores new technological possibilities, particularly those connecting people and enhancing collaboration across the countries boundaries. The exhibition explores new approaches to open source-based teaching.

The ultimate aim of ‘NETS’ is to promote and develop textile education and to equip our graduates with up-to-date skills to meet challenges and seize new career opportunities.


VIRTUAL ‘NETS’: A student exhibition

The students of the three institutions will participate in a virtual exhibition by sending images of their artwork produced along the theme of ‘NETS’ to the ‘NETS’ blog. An online voting system will be established to select three winners – one winner from each country-to be announced in Finland at the end of the project in 2011. Student work will then be shown in ‘‘NETS’ exhibitions that will be arranged by each of the participating countries and universities.


‘NETS’ EXCLUSIVE’ – the final exhibition in Turku, Finland 2911, is a selected exhibition containing physical and virtual textile based artefacts. The exhibition aims to enhance practitioner collaboration between the universities through a curatorial connection and provide academic discourse around the concept of the theme of ‘NETS’.

The exhibition calendar is anticipated to follow the schedule outlined below:

2010 - Cumbria and Canberra

2011 - Turku

The final exhibition in Turku will form part of the European Culture Capital year festivities. The exhibition and project will culminate in an interactive international workshop/seminar in Turku, Finland.


The ‘NETS’ experience will be reflected upon and analysed by all exhibitors and co-hosts / audience and curators. The results will be published. The accompanying ‘NETS’ publication will be directed towards practitioners, textile historians and curators, textile educators and students.

See the blog for information on work-in-progress: