Colours of art showcased in new SAM exhibition opening Friday

Hiromi Tango Amygdala Fireworks detail a
Hiromi Tango Amygdala (Fireworks) 2016 neon and mixed media 120 x 140 x 40 cm © the artist, courtesy the artist and Sullivan+Strumpf, Sydney / Singapore

Visitors to the Shepparton Art Museum will experience art that reflects on the issues which affect us all when Craftivism. Dissident Objects and Subversive Forms opens this Friday evening.

The Shepparton Art Museum (SAM), in partnership with National Exhibitions Touring Support (NETS) Victoria presents this collaborative, playful and immersive exhibition featuring craft-based materials with a political intent, by 18 contemporary Australian artists and artist collectives.

Craft, activism and social change have long been interlinked; they have crossed boundaries and borders, genders and generations. Craftivism evidences this moment in contemporary art embracing craft techniques in order to explore and articulate the ideas and issues of our times.

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

Curated by SAM Curator Anna Briers and SAM Director Dr Rebecca Coates the 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. Many embrace relational production processes that implicitly promote collaboration and social connection,” said Dr Coates.

“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. 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,” said Ms Briers.

“Craftivism reveals the myriad ways that these artists challenge our perceptions of craft materials and approaches within a contemporary context, inviting viewers to rethink craft in a new light.”

Craftivism. Dissident Objects and Subversive Forms is a Shepparton Art Museum curated exhibition, touring nationally by NETS Victoria.

It opens on Friday 23 November at 6.00pm and everyone is welcome to attend. There will be Artist Talks from 5.00 to 6.00pm with Penny Byrne, Kate Just and Paul Yore who will discuss their work, processes and motivations. The exhibition has free entry.

Craftivism. Dissident Objects and Subversive Forms is a Shepparton Art Museum curated exhibition, touring nationally by NETS Victoria:

  • Shepparton Art Museum (VIC) - 24 November 2018 to 17 February 2019
  • Warrnambool Art Gallery (VIC) - 4 March to 5 May 2019
  • Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery (VIC) - 17 May to 21 July 2019
  • Museum of Australian Democracy (ACT) - 6 September 2019 to 2 February 2020
  • Bega Valley Regional Gallery (NSW) - 18 April to 13 June 2020
  • Warwick Art Gallery (QLD) - 3 July to 15 August 2020
  • University of the Sunshine Coast Art Gallery (QLD) - 12 September to 31 October 2020