Craftivism: Dissident Objects and Subversive Forms

A Shepparton Art Museum curated exhibition, touring nationally by NETS Victoria.

Craftivism: Dissident Objects and Subversive Forms presents the work of 17 contemporary Australian artists and groups who use craft materials and techniques with a political intent. The nationally touring exhibition will open at Warrnambool Art Gallery on Saturday 2nd March until Sunday 5th May.

Broadening our understanding of craft-making traditions, the artists in this exhibition subvert and extend these forms as vehicles for activism and social change, reflecting on the world in which we live.

Mardi Nowak, Director NETS Victoria said, “We are thrilled to be partnering with the WAG to exhibit Craftivism. There is something special about objects made by hand, we embed a sense of ourselves and our ideas into the materials. This exhibition captures artists making a statement about our world: the environment, politics, identity. Craft has evolved – it is no longer something that ‘just grandma does’!”.

While some respond directly to artistic or political movements, others encourage social connection between community members with works that require participatory activation through collective processes. Craft, activism and social change have long been interlinked; they have crossed boundaries and borders, genders and generations.

Craftivism: Dissident Objects and Subversive Forms evidences this movement in contemporary art, embracing craft techniques in order to explore and articulate ideas and issues of our time.

This exhibition addresses a number of themes. Gender, representation and identity are ever- present, because ‘the personal as political’ remains relevant today. Many artists are engaged with environmental politics and climate change, while others are concerned about contested borders, immigration and democracy.

Warrnambool Art Gallery is the second gallery to exhibit Craftivism on a two-year tour.

Exhibition opening: Friday 1st March, 6-8pm

Artists: Catherine Bell, Karen Black, Penny Byrne, Erub Arts, Debris Facility, Starlie Geikie, Michelle Hamer, Kate Just, Deborah Kelly, Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran, Raquel Ormella, Slow Art Collective, Tai Snaith, Hiromi Tango, James Tylor, Jemima Wyman and Paul Yore.

Curators: Anna Briers and Rebecca Coates.