Craftivism. Dissident Objects and Subversive Forms
For much of the relative softness of the materials used in crafting techniques: yarn, fabrics, wool and felt, craft itself has a hard edge – it is uncompromising and political. This strong lineage of subversion and lasting entwinement with protest and social change has seen the emergence of craft’s own form of critique or means through which to explore the power dynamics operating in society. More recently, this has expanded and morphed with other contemporary practices and mediums as contemporary artists reach for craft-based materials and use them in new and more experimental ways.
‘Craftivism. Dissident Objects and Subversive Forms’ has been co-curated by Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) Director Dr Rebecca Coates and Senior Curator Anna Briers who take on this nexus of craft+activism – or Craftivism – asserting craft practices firmly within the concerns of contemporary art, banishing the art versus craft dichotomy of the past.
The exhibition includes 18 contemporary Australian artists who work with craft-based practices or materials and whose work has an expressly political dimension. These artists are: Catherine Bell, Karen Black, Penny Byrne, Erub Arts, Debris Facility, Starlie Geikie, Michelle Hamer, Kate Just,