Craftivism. Dissident Objects and Subversive Forms

Saturday, 2 March 2019 to Sunday, 5 May 2019
Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) curated exhibition, touring nationally by NETS Victoria

This year, Warrnambool Art Gallery in partnership with National Exhibitions Touring Support (NETS) Victoria, will present Craftivism. Dissident Objects and Subversive Forms – a collaborative, playful and immersive exhibition featuring craft-based materialities with a political intent, by contemporary Australian artists and artist collectives.

Broadening our understanding of craft-making traditions, the artists in this exhibition subvert and extend these forms as vehicles for activism and social change, reflecting on the world in which we live. While some respond directly to artistic or political movements, others encourage social connection between community members with works that require participatory activation through collective processes.

Craft, activism and social change have long been interlinked; they have crossed boundaries and borders, genders and generations. craftivism. dissident objects and subversive forms presents the work of artists and groups who evidence this moment in contemporary art, embracing ceramics, textile and fibre art techniques along with everyday materials in order to explore and articulate ideas and issues of our time.

Featured Artists

Artists featured in the exhibition include: Catherine Bell, Karen Black, Penny Byrne, Erub Arts, Debris Facility, Starlie Geikie, Michelle Hamer, Kate Just, Deborah Kelly, Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran, Raquel Ormella, Slow Art Collective, Tai Snaith, Hiromi Tango, James Tylor, Jemima Wyman and Paul Yore. 

Exhibition Themes

This exhibition addresses a number of themes. Gender, representation and identity are ever-present, because ‘the personal as political’ remains relevant today. Many artists are engaged with the land, environmental politics and climate change, while others are concerned about contested borders, immigration and democracy. Many embrace relational production processes that implicitly promote collaboration. This exhibition reveals the myriad ways that these artists challenge our perceptions of craft materials and approaches within a contemporary context, inviting viewers to rethink craft in a new light.

Education Kit

Click here to access the Craftivism. Dissident Objects and Subversive Forms education kit.


Image credit: Jemima Wyman Propaganda textiles, Pink Bloc protester at Gay Pride in Copacabana, 13th October 2013 (detail) 2016–17 custom-made fabric book: Minky, Hot Pink Brazil 10-13 ed. 2/6 + 2 AP open book: 41 x 94 x 4 cm© the artist, courtesy the artist, Sullivan+Strumpf, Sydney / Singapore and Milani Gallery, Brisbane