Last night the Craft ACT gallery was filled with art-lovers for the opening of our two gorgeous new exhibitions: Folding Indigo by Keiko Amenomori-Schmeisser and the group show The void: Reimagining Enrico Taglietti.

Virgina Rigney, the new Senior Curator at CMAG, gave an enthusiastic speech for both of them (and isn't it funny how a crowd melts back when it's speech time!). She remarked upon the architectural influence upon Keiko's textile panels which use shibori needlework to draw geometric shapes before immersion in deep blue indigo dye. 

"Drawing from the particularly Japanese traditions of the craft," she said, "Amenomori-Schmeisser’s works appear at first strictly precise, yet the nature of the process is one that invites subtle unpredictability and up close, the field of ripples and marks become joyfully unique."

Folding Indigo is contemporary works that draws upon ancient craft traditions of shibori (a form of tie-dyeing) with indigo dyeing, and includes panels that have been hand-painted with gold paint of various shades, to produce an exhibition space that glows. 

The void: Reimagining Enrico Taglietti is a Craft ACT initiative to tie in with the 2018 DESIGN Canberra focus on geometry and the legacy of architect Enrico Taglietti. Taglietti’s modernist architecture is distinctive and has helped to shape Canberra and its communities. Taglietti, trained in Italy and long residing in Canberra, is recognised as an important architect and a leading practitioner of the late twentieth century organic style of architecture.

The void references Taglietti’s joyful 1955 statement that Canberra was the ‘perfect void’, a city unfettered by history and tradition, an ideal place to push boundaries and start anew.

Craft ACT has invited a selection of contemporary craft and design practitioners to respond to, or reimagine, Taglietti’s work to celebrate his legacy and contribute a new perspective to his aesthetics. The participating artists have been selected for their outstanding practice, association with Taglietti, and alignment of design values.

A small selection of the artists: Sarit Cohen, Megan Hinton, Thor Diesendorf, Sabine Pagan and Tanja Taglietti. 

The fifteen artists are Elliot Bastinianon, Andres Caycedo, Sarit Cohen, 
Thor Diesendorf, Judi Elliott, Megan Hinton, Karen Lee, Chelsea Lemon, Dianne Firth, Rene Linssen, Sabine Pagan, Elizabeth Paterson, Tanja Taglietti, Richard Whiteley and Enrico Taglietti himself, who is still living in Canberra in his 80s. 

There is a wide mix of materials: textiles, glass, ceramics, wood, Perspex, stone and precious metals. 

Admiring Enrico Taglietti's work, Trasperenza, 2018. (Blackwood, Perspex, tile.)

"This exhibition by contemporary artists and makers", said Virginia Rigney in her speech, "is powerful evidence of the deeper resonance and the legacy of Taglietti’s practice in shaping not only the urban form of our city, but the more intimate ways that perceptions of these places might translate into personal practice."

Exhibition view of Megan Hinton's Constructed Forms (Screenprint on linen) and Andres Caycedo, Spatial Ambiguity I & II (Stoneware ceramics). 

Looking at Richard Whiteley's Duct, 2018 (cast glass).

These two exhibitions are now open until 15 December. There will be associated floortalks by Keiko Amenomori-Schmeisser on 9 November  and by artists from The void on 14 November

If you would like to know more about Enrico Taglietti, there are many associated events during the DESIGN Canberra Festival, running 5-25 November

Many thanks to 5foot Photography for their great photos!