Pliable planes

Expanded textiles & fibre practices

21 Feb to 12 May 2024

Artists: Paul Knight, Anne-Marie May, John Nixon, Kate Scardifield, Jacqueline Stojanović, Katie West, Akira Akira, Sarah Contos, Lucia Dohrmann, Mikala Dwyer, Janet Fieldhouse and Teelah George
Co-curators: Karen Hall and Catherine Woolley

Pliable planes draws together 12 Australian practitioners who reimagine practices in textiles and fibre art. The project takes its title from a 1957 essay by Bauhaus artist Anni Albers that sought to rethink the use of weaving through an architectural lens, interpreting textiles as fundamentally structural and endlessly mutable. Using this concept as a point of departure, the exhibition presents the work of contemporary practitioners experimenting with the boundaries of materiality and spatiality through unexpected approaches to making.

Exhibiting artists reflect on the use of textiles to chart social and cultural change, responding to historical modes of production and presentation, and underlying histories of domesticity and gendered labour. Works seamlessly incorporate traditional textile approaches including weaving, embroidery, knitting, and sewing while exploring broader conceptual and aesthetic possibilities that alter perceptions of material, form and function. Through expanded painting, assemblage, performative gesture, sound, video and installation, Pliable planes disrupts our understanding of how textiles and fibre are defined and used in contemporary practice.

Exhibition co-curator Karen Hall comments: 'The exhibition unites the work of practitioners who disrupt our understanding of how textiles and fibre are defined and used in contemporary practice. The exhibition highlights dynamic approaches to making from artists who weave with porcelain, unravel paintings on canvas, and create sonic representations of needlepoint.'

A UNSW Galleries touring exhibition. Presented with the support of the Australian Government’s Visions of Australia program, and the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.

Image: Sarah Contos, Two minutes and six seconds of bubblegum, 2022, hand-cast aluminium, stainless hardware, wool. © Sarah Contos. Courtesy the artist, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery and STATION. Photo: Jacquie Manning