You really don't have to go far to see three of the best examples of contemporary craft/art pop hybrids we've seen in quite some time. Craft Victoria's opening volley this year involves four of our favourite artists Troy Emery, Lucy James, Kent Wilson (BONUS CARD) and John Brown all presenting their own very particular perspectives on the decorative arts.
Troy Emery's From Far Away is an extremely clever exhibition. Using a range of pre made 'kiddie' craft objects like pompoms, tinsel and fringing in glorious candy-shop excess he immediately pushes viewers into a challenging and dichotomous position. Using a barrage of conflicting associations (trophy/ comfort/reductive totem) and the visual traditions of plush toys, museum display and traditional decorative arts he creates animal sculptures that are as much fairy floss dreamscape as they are animated nightmare monsters. An exposition of delicious repulsion and utter genius.
Loom of the Land sees Lucy and Kent create a collection of totemic objects reminiscent of oceanic and african tribal masks gleefully decorated in a carnival of saturated pop colours and geometric shapes. By using materials like wood, paint and textiles common to both 'traditional' tribal art and the sub cultural tribes of the west (think everything from gypsies to hipsters) they consciously mash up visual codes, notions of privilege and ceremonial culture. Thought provoking, and challenging beyond the super seductive 'decoration'.
Weaver and visual artist John Brown pretty much had us from the moment we saw his studio textile grad work, so we are incredibly happy to the development of this new work Transgenesis. Brown has taken full advantage of his insider knowledge of construction and materiality to create textile technology hybrids that explore the Darwinian concept of difference and mutation. One part Tom Baker era Dr. Who and two parts super shagged Yeti these bejewelled pelts are seriously something to see. Ignore the hotness outside and get amongst it. BECK
From Far Away, Loom of the Land and Transgenesis
all on at Craft Victoria
31 Flinders Lane Melbourne
until February 15.