ACT – News & Events

     The National Portrait Gallery is pleased to announce its winter exhibition is So Fine: Contemporary women artists make Australian history. It continues until 1st October 2018. So Fine brings together ten women artists to explore the possibilities of portraiture as a contemporary art form and reinterpret events, people and places from Australia’s past.  Scottish-Australian Canberra-based weaver Valerie Kirk reflects on what is lost and gained in emigration through intricate woollen tapestries and painted slates, exhibited with precious antique pieces of Ayrshire white embroidery. Wathaurong-Scottish woman Carol McGregor has assembled delicately painted, patiently stitched possum skin cloaks and vessels, feathered pencils, woven hair and wire baskets to evoke stories waiting to emerge from Indigenous people whose personal histories have been occluded and suppressed. So Fine: Contemporary women artists make Australian history will be on display at the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra. Tickets are priced at $10 for adults and $8 concession. Children under 18 are free. A lavishly illustrated catalogue documenting the installed works will be published during the exhibition which forms part of the Portrait Gallery’s twentieth birthday celebrations.

    Under Ice is a visual response to research on the sea creature Edwardsiella andrillae that lives under the Ross Ice Shelf of Antarctica. Combining traditional weaving methods with contemporary materials, JUSTINE McLAREN re-imagines animals only recently discovered. Materials used include recycled data cable. Exhibition dates: 6-23 September. Venue: M16 Artspace located at 21 Blaxland Crescent, Griffith. Under Ice will be in Gallery 2.

WATERWAYS: This exhibition is a reflection of five Canberra artists’ experiences of water, fleeting moments of nature, seaside architecture, travel and separation. Victoria Cotton, Sharon Peoples, Prue Power, Rozalie Sherwood and Steve Tomlin examine waterways through paint, ink, stitch and textiles. The locations range from our local waterways, including Lake Burley Griffin, the South Coast and the English seaside. The exhibition runs from 27 September to 6 November 2018, at The Link at Ginninderry, 90 Stockdill Drive, Holt ACT. The official opening will be on Saturday 29 September, 2-4 pm. The artists are described here: Victoria Cotton’s work is a study in the changing views and moods of Lake Burley Griffin. Her series of black and white ink vignettes capture the fleeting moments that she observes on her daily walks around the lake’s edge.  Walking around the Lake Burley Griffin provides inspiration for Sharon Peoples. Drawing and photographing the birds, particularly black swans, have been her focus for this exhibition. Prue Power spends a lot of time enjoying lakes both in Canberra and on the NSW coast. Her paintings capture the play of light and shadow on lake waters and their surroundings as well as the anticipation of travelling between the two. Rozalie Sherwood’s latest work is focused on the flow of water, sometimes controlled and contained; sometimes interrupted to become a flood or a trickle. Her exploration has led her to combine unlikely materials: reclaimed cloth and acrylic sheet; and her sculptural works evoke the way water moves across and through the earth, bringing life and colour. Steve Tomlin’s recent work employs symbols and motifs from his English seaside origins to explore the issue of displacement and dislocation, the feeling of being neither here nor there, that is a recurrent feature of the migrant experience.

     Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre: Place Makers: Annual Craft ACT members exhibition. From 7 Sept – 20 October. “Place Makers celebrates and explores the Canberra region’s distinct design identity and our relationship with place, craftsmanship and experimentation.  Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre is showcasing more than 70  Accredited Professional Members and Associate Members from all mediums, including jewellery, furniture, metal, textiles, ceramics, paper and glass. These internationally renowned and emerging artists, designers and makers will offer an image of Canberra and the ACT as a living design laboratory, both audacious and intimate, exploring the relationship between the built environment and nature. FLOOR TALKS: Thursday 13 September, 12.30pm with mixed media, furniture, design and paper artists.
Saturday 22 September, 12.30pm with textiles artists. Saturday 6 October, 12.30pm with metals and ceramics artists. Thursday 11 October, 12.30pm with glass artists. 1 North Building 180 London Circuit Can Workshop coming up in Canberra with Julie Ryder:

Introduction to Mordant Printing; 8 & 9 September 2018. Beginners and those with prior experience. Venue : Strathnairn Village Hall. Discover the magic of printing with mordants in conjunction with natural dyes. Mordant printing is a centuries old process whereby different colours can be obtained on your cloth from just one natural dyebath. This class will focus on several mordants and dyes as well as different printing and stamping processes, This class is suitable for those wishing to extend beyond immersion dyeing to printing. Students to supply own fabrics. Class size: Limit of 10-12, minimum 6 people. Cost: $250 includes delicious vegetarian lunch and morning and afternoon teas. Taking bookings now. For further information and bookings contact Julie Ryder at:

  Julie Ryder: REPEAT SCREEN PRINTING ON FABRICS. Saturday, September 29, 2018, 10:00 AM 4:00 PM. Venue: Megalo Print Studio + Gallery. Tutor : Julie Ryder. WHEN : 2 x Saturdays; 29 September + 6 October.  Get more details here:

The next annual MEMBERS’ Exhibition for the Embroiderers Guild of the ACT will take place in Albert Hall. Canberra from 21-23 September.

OPEN DAY: Sat 17 Nov 2018 – Open Day at Textile Works, 71 Maclaurin Crescent, Chifley ACT – 10am- Canberra Spinners & Weavers and Canberra Region Feltmakers will take part in Design Australia.

     From 5-25 November 2018, DESIGN Canberra will transform the nation’s capital, hosting over 100 events. Now in its 5th year, DESIGN Canberra increases its reach and engagement each year, linking makers and designers with new audiences and forging unexpected collaborations and marketplace connections. DESIGN Canberra is the major outreach activity of Craft ACT: Craft + Design Centre, a not-for-profit membership-based organisation which supports artists, craft practitioners, designers and makers at every stage of their careers.

     In November 2018 there will be an installation (‘planting’) of 62,000 knitted and crocheted poppies on stems for Remembrance Day (11 November) at The Australian War Memorial. In 2018 this date marks the centenary of the end of WWI. The number (62,000) represents the loss of Australian lives in WWI. The date for submitting poppies has already passed but if you would like to volunteer to help “plant” the poppies there is a fact sheet and volunteer form, along with relevant dates and times at: General information from