30 March – 7 June 2023

Weaving matter: materials and context showcases the work of 14 contemporary practitioners, who are making their ideas visible by experimenting with diverse materials to translate political, social, personal, or environmental concerns into weavings.

Exhibiting artists: Christine Appleby | Sally Blake | Mary Burgess | Hannah Cooper | Blake Griffiths | Amanda Ho | Lise Hobcroft | Kelly Leonard | Jennifer Robertson | Nien Schwarz | Jacqueline Stojanović | Jane Théau | Ilka White | Monique van Nieuwland

Curator Liz Williamson, who is also the Honorary Associate Professor, UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture invited artists to participate in Weaving matter: materials and context and present work in response to the work of Anni Albers, renowned artist and weaver, who encouraged experimentation and playfulness in weaving through her practice and writing.

To make (our ideas) visible and tangible, we need light and material, any material. And any material can take on the burden of what has been brewing in our consciousness or subconsciousness, in our awareness or in our dreams. – Anni Albers, Material as metaphor, 1982.

Materials, as a means of communication, together with an understanding of weaving, were central to Albers’ philosophy. She used diverse materials, both organic and synthetic fibres, the latter often new, industrial or experimental.

She advocated listening to materials to ascertain how they conveyed ideas, touch, hardness, or softness and accepting accidents in the creative process; accidents that could led to unexpected or innovative effects or a new direction in weaving.

To create their artworks, exhibitors have woven on hand, digital, shafted, velvet or Jacquard looms, the latter allowing imagery to be embedded into the cloth. Some have combined weaving with processes such as photography, video projection, print or dyes; undertaken material experiments informed by research into historic weaving and fabric treatment; or used specific finishing techniques.

Some works are experiments, while others are finished works; all are intriguing, individual, innovative, and unique woven works that comment on current concerns with materials that take on ‘the burden’ of the concept and present contemporary stories in cloth.

Article: Q&A with Liz Williamson
ADC’s Associate Director Debbie Abraham, spoke to Liz Williamson, about curating Weaving matter: materials and context, a written Q&A was developed and published on Object Digital, read it here

Exhibition Activity Sheet
We have developed an Exhibition Activity Sheet for primary-aged children to use to explore the exhibition. Please download here or visit the Centre and pick up a copy.


Exhibition Launch
Join us for the launch of three new exhibitions Mutukaku Ngura - Motorcar Country, Weaving matter: materials and context, and Kirsten Haydon: Ice Holds.
Where: Australian Design Centre
When: Thursday 30 March 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Free event, RSVP here

Weaving matter: Curator and artist talk
Join the curator and some of the artists from Weaving matter: materials and context as they talk about the exhibition and their works.
Where: Australian Design Centre
When: Saturday 1 April 11:30am – 1:00pm
Free event, RSVP here

Dressing the loom with Liz Williamson
Join curator Liz Williamson, for a demonstration of ‘dressing’ a loom - setting up a loom for weaving and an introduction to the basics of weaving on an 8 shaft loom.
Where: Australian Design Centre
When: Saturday 6 May 11:30am – 2:30pm
Free event, RSVP here

Symposium: What is contemporary weaving?
To coincide with the exhibitions, Mutukaku Ngura: Motorcar Country and Weaving matter: materials and context, Australian Design Centre presents an industry symposium based around the question, ‘What is contemporary weaving’.

Through a mediated discussion between three contemporary weavers with curatorial experience, the session will tease out the place of weaving in design and craft practice today, with an emphasis on European and First Nations weaving practices and traditions. Ideas around culture, historical influences, conceptual frameworks and the use of materials will be explored through the diverse experiences of Blake Griffiths, Dr. Virginia Keft and Liz Williamson.

When: Thursday 11 May 2023, session 6-8pm and program 6:30-7:30pm
Where: Australian Design Centre (Gallery)
Free event RSVP here

Free gallery tours and times
Make the most of your trip to the Australian Design Centre with our free exhibition tours. Our friendly gallery staff will introduce you to our current exhibitions, gallery space and Object Shop.

Tuesdays, 12.30pm
Thursdays, 12.30pm
Book here or call on us on 9361 4555 to make a booking or register at the front desk 10 minutes prior to tour time. 

Image top: Jane Théau, Conflagration, Regeneration in progress, 2023. Photo: Courtesy of the artist