Assembly Point Exhibition: Queer Threads
12 April 2018
April 1 – April 26, 2018
Curated by Dr Kate Just
Artists: Casey Jenkins, Grace McArthur, David Lowe, Anna Dunnill, John Gosper, Zamara Robison
Queer Threads focuses on artists from The Victorian College of the Arts working with textiles to radically translate social, personal and political ideas of embodiment and sexuality. Through their work, the artists consider the relation of cloth to skin, invent new garments, interweave their personal experiences and materialise transitional objects.
^ Casey Jenkin, Growing Change
Casey Jenkin’s Growing Change deploys knitted clothing designs to imagine a world free of female sexual harassment, where queers are celebrated. A pink, purple and golden knitted maternity jumper on a mannequin bust bears the text #metoo across the chest and the text #notme across the belly. On the floor beneath it, a large footy sized scarf emblazoned with Queer AF proclaims a queer joy and pride. Jenkins’ work continues a long tradition of using textiles to incite feminist action and reaction.
^ Grace McArthur, The Shark
Grace McArthur presents a physically distorted, discomforting object. Her stuffed fabric shark, entitled The Shark, has a vagina dentata for a mouth and sexual organs that appear to be displaced and rearranged. Hanging and encircled by an ominous metal chain, this fabric body manifests the artist’s female rage and unwilling defeat in the face of patriarchal oppression.
^ David Lowe, Family
David Lowe’s Family consists of two crocheted blanket-like wall hangings. Beneath these, a group of bulbous and phallic crocheted and sewn textile forms congregate. Blending the aesthetics of comforting domestic fabrics with uncanny bodies, Lowe’s work expanding notions of the ‘typical’ familial unit.
^ Anna Dunnill, Mapping a New Way
Anna Dunnill’s work Mapping a New Way features a large-scale textile hanging and series of ceramic forms to explore the idea of religious ritual transformed through the queer body. Through craft processes and textured skin-like materials - linen repeatedly pierced by a needle, clay pressed into forms - the work suggests new queer rituals, held in the body and inscribed in the skin surface.
^ John Gosper, Smock
John Gosper also uses textiles to subvert dominant paradigms. For Smock, Gosper deploys liquid latex, synthetic wadding and woollen yarn to achieve both a garment and a body. The chocolate hues of the latex skin, hair and wall of the vitrine signal the artist’s intention to re-centre brown bodies and repudiate the ‘neutrality’ of whiteness.
^ Zamara Robison, Pefect Skin
Zamara Robison’s installation Perfect Skin presents as a shop window display featuring texts, aprons, objects and photographs that create the illusion of luxury and comfort while challenging and expanding prevalent beauty and consumer ideals. Wearable devices such as sculptural aprons are represented as playful forms of restraint. Texts reading “STRAP IN” and “SLIP INTO A PERFECT SKIN!” contemplate our complicity in constructing limiting notions of self and society.
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