Craftivism. Dis­si­dent Ob­jects and Sub­ver­sive Forms

Art Almanac - - Art In Aus­tralia - Kath­leen Linn

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,

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