Tapestries @ TarraWarra Museum of Art

TWMA Wolseley TapestryThursday, 28 April 2011

Tapestries @ TarraWarra Museum of Art

Artworks to Tapestry is an exhibition at the TarraWarra Museum of Art, profiling the work of the Victorian Tapestry Workshop (VTW) in South Melbourne – or more precisely the collaboration of their weavers with modern and contemporary Australian artists. One of the unique and original aspects of this exhibition is the fact that tapestries are displayed alongside the artworks on which they are based – or rather the ones that they interpret in a different medium. They cover a wide gamut of Australian art – from John Coburn, John Olsen, and Gareth Sansom, to contemporary artists Song Ling, Yvonne Todd and Angela Brennan among others. This is a testament that the gifted weavers of the VTW are game to tackle anything from strictly figurative works such as photography of Yvonne Todd and comics-inspired painting by Song Ling; delicate ruminations on flora and fauna by John Wolseley; precise abstraction of John Coburn; or delicate and elusive colour variations of pigment washes in works by Angela Brennan and John Olsen. It was also quite an amazing experience, that at a first (and very cursory!!!) glance, paintings by Sansom and Brennan were virtually indistinguishable from their woven interpretations.

The exhibition does not have a particular theme or a curatorial direction – apart from the obvious medium-based focus – and therefore can appear as a marketing and promotional exercise for the Victorian Tapestry Workshop. Nevertheless, the exhibition is still infinitely worth visiting for the sheer experience of marvelling in quiet awe at the infinitely complex and exquisitely delicate craft of Victorian tapestry weavers.

PS: TWMA’s strict policy against any kind of photography precluded me from capturing beautiful and elegant installation views of the exhibition.

[© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg 2011. This article is copyright, but the full or partial use is WELCOME with the full and proper acknowledgement.]

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Eugene Barilo v. Reisberg

April 2011


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