This exhibition subverts and unravels the baggage-laden yet wondrous category of making once labelled ‘domestic arts’ (often a.k.a. ‘women’s work’). Perceived regularly as mundane or sentimental, home-making expressions are reworked in Domestic Arts to show not only the knotty tangles hiding within otherwise innocuous home-craft, but also that these make-do methods are rich repositories of passed along knowledge. In Australia, the domestic arts have been central to settler colonial home-making.
Domestic Arts presents a re-creation of a home; one that celebrates and critiques the tradition of women world-making using the material stuff around them, and one that questions the ongoing and problematic traditions of colonial settling. Using embroidery and home-craft methods, Domestic Arts leaps across generations of local and national historical happenings to create contemporary portals onto past legacies, ever present today
Image: Sera Waters, Basking (detail), 2016-17, linen, cotton, sequins, tablecloth, handmade glow-in-the-dark beads, 92 x 60 cm. Image courtesy of the artist and Hugo Michell Gallery