ACT – News & Events

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.

     Canberra Design Festival OPEN STUDIOS Saturday 10 Nov 10.00-4.00. Makers will open their studios as part of the Design Canberra Festival. They include several textile artists: Annie Trevillian – printer, Tiffany Abbott- costume maker, Monique van Nieuwland -weaver and Julie Bradley-printer (teacher Design Basics). Check out the link:

     A new exhibition from Keiko Amenomori-Schmeisser: Folding Indigo at Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre, on display until 15 December 2018. Folding Indigo brings a modern, three-dimensional perspective to the ancient crafts of Japanese shibori and indigo dyeing. The folds in the fabric honour the folds of time and tradition which both unfold and refold on a journey from ancient tradition to contemporary expression. Born in Japan and immigrated to Australia in 1978, Keiko Amenomori-Schmeisser combines Japanese traditions with Western contemporary concepts in her art. She is fascinated by the ancient Japanese dyeing technique of shibori, its strict discipline and unpredictable nature. Keiko has deepened her knowledge of this centuries old craft by learning from Japanese masters. Floor talk: Friday 9 November, 12.30pm: Keiko Amenomori-Schmeisser talks about her work and her practice. 

    At the National Library Treasures Gallery, Ground floor until 3 February 2019: In Cook’s Wake – Tapa Treasures from the Pacific. Before the world knew cloth there was tapa, or barkcloth, which worked its way into the heart of human interactions throughout the Pacific. Made from the inner bark of trees, it was used for clothing and furnishings, to wrap babies and the deceased, as wicks in oil lamps, and presented at important ceremonial occasions and in performances by Polynesian people. It was a crucial part of the world which Captain James Cook and his fellow travelers encountered, and it is through this precious and rare material that we can reveal many stories. Discover hidden tapa treasures from the Library’s collection, many of which have rarely seen the light of day since Cook’s voyages. This exhibition is free and the exhibition  is open daily from 10am-5pm.

     TRACES III – An Open Exhibition in A5 Format – Belconnen Arts Centre, Main Gallery, until 14 December 2018. As time passes, we leave traces of where we have been. We all have a connection to a place, story or memory. We would like to continue this focus on the journey through life. Following the success of our previous Traces exhibitions, we are continuing with these themes for 2018 and invited participation in Traces III. Artists were invited from throughout Australia to respond to sense of place and our connection to it, the stories and changes that have taken place and the memories we have gathered. They were encouraged to investigate ideas of connection, transformation and memory playfully, thoughtfully, radically or somewhere in between, and to explore the people, relationships, places, adventures and environments are cherished.

     A new exhibition from LUCY IRVINE: Made of Holes: 2 November – 26 December 2018 at Belconnen Art Centre, 118 Emu Bank, Belconnen. This is ‘a work in conversation with Japanese architect Kengo Kuma’s DESIGN Canberra Festival installation Namako.’ You can also join Lucy Irvine in weaving a large-scale public artwork connecting the Belconnnen Arts Centre to Lake Ginninderra that will bring people together in a material expression of Place: WAYFORMING A Community Collaboration: 10am-2pm Saturday Nov 3rd, Nov 10th and Nov 17th. The opening night is Tuesday 20th November at 6pm.

Art Bus and Free Weaving Workshops with RUBY BERRY, Garema Place: ANCA Gallery and Studios is taking contemporary art to the community in an iconic (retired) Canberra bus which has been transformed into a mobile contemporary gallery and studio space. The first exhibition in the ANCA Art Bus is ENCLOSE by Ruby Berry and it opens at 12noon Saturday 3rd November in Garema Place Canberra. ‘Softening the walls with dense weaving and tactile forms, Ruby Berry’s Art Bus combines installation and sculptural works to create a space that encourages feelings of comfort and protection.’ Free hands-on, drop-in weaving workshops – each Saturday and Sunday afternoon when the exhibition is open (it continues to 25 November). Create a small tapestry weaving to take home.

CHRISTMAS & Designer Weekend (Dec 15/16) at the Old Bus Depot Markets, Kingston:  Julie Ryder will be among the maker/designers taking part.

At M16 Artspace M16artspace (21 Blaxland Crt,  Griffith, ACT 2604) from 8-25 November:  Curvature couture: Design and the pear-shaped woman Bronwynne Jones (Thunder Thighs Fashion). Fashion is so often the domain of the tall, pin-thin models. It’s sad but true that most designers see this as the perfect shape on which to ‘hang’ their garments. Thunder Thighs Fashion believes every woman has the right to couture. Designer Bronwynne Jones focuses on shape as a feature, not a flaw. This exhibition will showcase Thunder Thighs’ new collection of garments designed for the perfectly pear-shaped woman. The exhibition commences with a runway show on opening night. Get to know more about the genesis of the label with a designer talk 2pm on Sunday 18 November. A workshop also held on Sunday 18th will explore how to dress for a body shape that deserves a place on the runway. The studio will also be open from 12-4pm on Saturday 10 November and by appointment during the exhibition.

     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 to 6 November 2018, at The Link at Ginninderry, 90 Stockdill Drive, Holt ACT. The artists are described below: 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.

OPEN DAY: Sat 17 Nov 2018 – Open Day at Textile Works, 71 Maclaurin Crescent, Chifley ACT – 10am-4pm. Canberra Spinners & Weavers and Canberra Region Feltmakers will take part in Design Australia.

     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