Weaving Magic: The Alchemists Exhibition at The Goods Shed

Time to weave some magic.

Creative non-for-profit organisation FORM has weaved their magic ways yet again with their latest exhibition, “The Alchemists” at The Goods Shed in Claremont. Following on from the successful run of the exhibition “A Man, A Monster & The Sea”, FORM’s latest installation “The Alchemists” draws together diverse contemporary weaving practices from Aboriginal artists and art institutions from around Australia to showcase fibre art in a new light.

It features groundbreaking new artworks by artists from Groote Eylandt to the Mornington Peninsula, exploring a continually evolving artistic practice which remains rooted with the traditional use of natural materials. (Trust us, you will never look at straw the same way again!)

Among the artists is Telstra NATSIAA award-winning Kieren Karritpul, who translates to canvas the traditional weavings of his family spanning three-generations in the Northern Territory. Cairns artist and curator Grace Lillian Lee showcases her Torres Strait Islander heritage into fashion with striking attention to detail.

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The exhibition also features topical artworks with artists from across Northern Australia, transforming the wreckage of plastic fishing nets found washed up on beaches into art. This activist features coiled and plaited into marine animals, with some featuring debris in their stomachs, a grim reminder of the impact of ghost nets and waste on the environment.

It’s not all just about the use of raw materials the Victorian artists featured in the exhibition have also used traditional elements creating their striking artworks including kelp and possum skin carriers, feathers from black swans, tawny frogmouths and lorikeets. 

Old traditions have been mixed with new as the exhibition also showcases the collaborative works between senior weavers urban designers, creating homewares like lampshades styled from ancient woven Yolngu mats.

Curator Sharmila Wood said the Indigenous fibre art of Australia expressed a community of practice unified by the ability of artists to transform raw materials into creative expressions of story and place.

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“The works, and their creators, perform a most special mixture of artistry and alchemy,” Ms Wood said. “With The Alchemists, we have a fascinating opportunity to appreciate how contemporary fibre art is shaped by economic and ecological influences, by change and the adoption of new methods and new materials.”

“Connected to women’s knowledge of plant materials and harvesting, fibre art is inextricably linked to seasonal availability of resources, and the transformation of raw materials into dyes, yarn and threads.”

The details

The Alchemists exhibition runs until the 16th December 2019 at The Goods Shed, 4 Shenton Rd, Claremont WA 6010

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