Exploring the edges of textile practice

Exploring the edges of textile practice

Being based in a former blanket factory means that Fabrik takes a special interest in textiles. Our first exhibition for the South Australian Living Artist festival in August 2019 allowed us to follow our curiosity and explore who is in our community of textile makers in South Australia.

Close up of red stitching.
Catherine Buddle, Fathom (detail), 2015, hand stitched, cotton thread, cotton fabric, 930 x 750mm. Photographer Grant Hancock.

Curated by Fabrik Director Melinda Rankin, the exhibition Borderline: Sampling the Edge brought together a wide breadth of textile skills and approaches, ranging from experimental, conceptual and playful works through to masterful, carefully honed traditional techniques.

Image of an embroidery piece with a building and patterns.
Sera Waters, Sampler for a Colonised Land, 2018-19, cotton on linen, 141 x 52cm. Photograph Grant Hancock.

Textile practice is broad and this exhibition aimed to present a sample of the kinds of work being undertaken throughout the state. For some artists, the mastery of traditional techniques is at the core of their work, ensuring that skills are preserved and passed on to future generations. For other artists, the cultural meanings and assumptions enmeshed within popular attitudes towards textile practices (such as knitting, mending and embroidery) provide rich possibilities for layered meanings and reclamations. And of course, the sheer joy of colour and texture and the meditative, repetitive nature of many techniques are lure enough for many artists.

Borderline was not a comprehensive survey of textile practitioners within the state. It was a first taste, a sample of the edges of this exciting area of practice, and we look forward to exploring more in the future.

Fabrik was proud to feature the following artists in Borderline:Sampling the Edge:

Aunty Alice Abdulla, Troy-Anthony Baylis, Bev Bills, Christine P Bishop, Cheryl Bridgart, Jane Bowden, Catherine Buddle, Lucia Dohrmann, Di Fisher, India Flint, Jelina Haines, Kay Lawrence, Russell Leonard, Aunty Ellen Trevorrow, Linda Marie Walker, Sera Waters, Phyllis Williams, Robert Wuldi