ACT – News & Events

     M16 Artspace: showing in the Chute Space from 6-23 February: Crystal Grotto by Portia Lawson who works in fabric, wire, beads and embroidery. M16 Artspace Gallery is located at 2 Blaxland Crescent, Griffith ACT. It is open Wed-Sun, 12noon-5pm each day.

     The National Gallery of Australia has commissioned a new work from Tjanpi Desert Weavers as part of the Know My Name: Australian Women Artists 1900 to Now project, supported by Wesfarmers Arts. The Know My Name project is built around increasing the representation of artists who identify as women in the NGA’s artistic program.  Tjanpi’s large-scale installation will begin production on the Ngaanyatjarra lands in the new year. It tells the ancestral story of the Seven Sisters as they’re pursued across the land by a man called Nyiru, or Nyirunya. He chases the sisters up into the sky and down to the earth again, intent on marrying the eldest of the women. Eventually, the sisters are transformed into the constellation of Pleiades and Nyiru assumes the form of Orion. The exhibition opens 2 May 2020 at the National Gallery of Australia and continues until 4 October 2020.

     Australian Museums and Galleries Association National Conference 2020 (AMaGA2020) will be held in Canberra, from the 18th – 21st May 2020, at the National Convention Centre. The theme is ‘Creating the Future: Trust. Diversity. Imagination’. Canberra 2020 will invite new perspectives on the museum and gallery sector’s role in creating the future. It will be an ambitious, imaginative and outward-looking program that questions assumptions. It will address our sector’s impact on communities, ecologies and economies. Early bird registration here:

    AUSTRALIA WIDE SEVEN, the next touring exhibition from Ozquilt Network will be launched at Belconnen Arts Centre, Belconnen ACT and continue there until 30 November 2020. This is a juried exhibition of small quilts.

    From now until 22 February 2020 at the Canberra Museum + Gallery: Djinjama Defying the Grid.  Budawang (of Yuin Nation) spatial designer Dr Danièle Hromek with mother, Robyn Hromek and sister Siân Hromek, draw on their ancestors’ ancient techniques to create fishing nets that recast their ancestors back into the landscape, breaking the urban grids through a filter of culture. Civic Square was architecturally designed in 1959 to be the new civic heart of Canberra. The original paving design featured a grid pattern that extended through to the shopping precinct around Garema Place. This installation work, Defying the Grid, is a response to how those architectural grids cut across the fluid lines of ancestral Country and the nebulous boundaries of Aboriginal nations. These nets were collaboratively made, over many weeks, by the women of the Hromek family. With every knot that was tied, a story was told. Family stories of love, loss, colonisation and resilience are knotted into the fabric of the net creating many micro grids of history and memories. Listen closely and you will hear their grandmother spinning a yarn while other women in the family bustle around. Spatial designer, Dr Danièle Hromek, is a Saltwater woman of the Budawang tribe of the Yuin nation, with French and Czech heritage. This exhibition was developed in collaboration with her sister and mother, and other community members. Explore the work and share your own response to it in this yarning circle. Canberra Museum + Gallery is located at the corner of London Circuit and City Square.

     PLACE is a travelling exhibition of artists’ books curated by Liz Jeneid and Avril Makula. It shows in Canberra from 21 March – 4 July 2020 at Canberra Museum + Gallery (Civic Square Canberra City). CMAG’s opening hours are Mon-Sat, 10am-5pm (closed Sundays). For more information about the exhibition or to see a gallery of the books, consult this website: Curators Avril Makula and Liz Jeneid are both involved in the making of books. Avril is a book designer and maker of unique books who explores the book as art using typography, geometry and colour as content. Liz is a printmaker who has experimented with different approaches, combining various techniques in the bookmaking process. Liz also pioneered a bookmaking course at UOW Faculty of Creative Arts.

     The 23rd National Black & Coloured Fleece Competition will be held in conjunction with Canberra Royal Show From  28th February-1st March 2020. With 31 classes and $2000 prize money, this is an opportunity for anyone raising coloured sheep to participate in a national show, so save your best fleeces!  Details online shortly on the Show’s website

    MoAD (Museum of Australian Democracy): See the #UDHRquilt Project (United Declaration of Human Rights) which was initiated by American craftivist Stephanie Dunlap. She reached out to Melbourne-based artist Tal Fitzpatrick with an idea for a collaboration interpreting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). When the pair turned to social media to find some helping hands, they were overwhelmed by the international response. The result is four quilts, embroidered in 26 languages, exploring the essential rights and values inherent in all human beings. Some quilt blocks are charming; others challenge and rage. Some are astonishing in their complexity. Many took months to make. Joining these blocks into patchwork masterpieces, the craftivists tell stories from their own lives, and the experiences that touch us all.

     Also note: More from MoAD (Museum of Australian Democracy) and Helen Fraser: Yumi Olgeta embroidery pattern download. Helen Fraser says: In August 2019, we hosted ‘Yumi Olgeta’, an inclusive craftivism workshop exploring the history of Australian South Sea Islander people and the Australian ‘blackbirding’ trade. Participants took part in a making experience using ‘chain stitch’ on a specially designed embroidery pattern acknowledging the 25th anniversary of national recognition of Australian South Sea Islanders. Your participation is welcomed. Download the chain stitch instructions and the embroidery pattern, and start making at home.