Lacebook, the current exhibition at Auburn’s Peacock Gallery, provides some fascinating responses to the idea of intersection between traditional crafts and modern technologies. Curator Nicole Barakat ran a series of weekly workshops for local artists ranging from established practising artists to men and women whose traditional crafts had never been publicly exhibited. Under her guidance, they explored their experiences and developed their individual responses. Even while many regret the loss of traditional skills, Facebook is apparently encouraging a resurgence of interest in them – hence the exhibition title.
Among participants, John Maxwell from the Regents Park Men’s Shed created complex puzzles from timber offcuts, second image from top. In answer to the question “why bother?”, Nicole says “Maxwell manages to reach outside of the familiar and imagine the everyday, ordinary world in a seemingly impossible medium. The role of the artist is to connect us with imagination and possibility, with the things that live outside of us and our reality.” Liam Benson used embroidery with sequins to suggest the touch screen of handheld devices.
The women of Auburn West Public School parents group, who bring exquisite embroidery skills from countries like Afghanistan, explored new applications for their domestic art form, third image from top. Bronwyn Rhodes used the style of a traditional sampler and social stitching to represent the fleeting moments of Facebook postings and comments in Stitching Conversations, left.
Lacebook, commissioned by Peacock Gallery, was supported by Auburn Council and made possible with funding from the NSW Government. Lacebook continues to May 4, 2014.