Exhibition | Slipstitch | Ararat Regional Art Gallery

Several years ago Tim Moore left his pencil case at Heathrow when flying to his new home, Australia. Minus a pencil case he could not sketch on board flight JAL214 so improvising he did his first embroidery on a sick bag (using the in-flight sewing kit) he landed at Kingsford Smith with four embroidered sick bags and a brand new skill.

Lucas Grogan, The Universe Quilt (detail) 2013, Photographer: Andrew Curtis

Lucas Grogan, The Universe Quilt (detail) 2013, Photographer: Andrew Curtis

Slipstitch presents an Australian perspective on the current interest in the art of embroidery by a new generation of artists. The exhibition features recent work from Mae Finlayson, David Green, Lucas Grogan, Alice Kettle, Tim Moore, Silke Raetze, Demelza Sherwood, Matt Siwerski, Jane Theau, Sera Waters, Elyse Watkins and Ilka White.

In recent years contemporary artists in Australia have embraced embroidery for its capacity for poignant and reflective narrative. The re-emergence of embroidery is part of a broader questioning of the hierarchy of materials that has gained momentum since the 1990s. Embroidered objects have often been read literally and relegated within a domestic framework. These new works break down preconceptions by exploring what embroidery can become once it transcends the traditional regularity of pattern and decoration. Embroidery has a long history of being used as a tool for personal or political narratives, think, for example, of the Bayeux Tapestry. Slipstitch will present contemporary embroidery works that build on this long tradition.

The works in the exhibition have been made using a variety of techniques. Some display careful detail while others make bold gestures. The artists have used both hand and machine embroidery. Many of the artists in Slipstitch use relatively simple hand embroidery methods and a very limited ‘palette’ of stitches, using a needle and thread in simple and intuitive ways as a drawing tool. Lucas Grogan, Elyse Watkins, Matt Siwerski and Demelza Sherwood describe a physical, conceptual and creative freedom in using this humble technology: the needle. Other artists developed work in response to digital photographs, or have used direct digital printed or heat transferred imagery and used embroidery and stitch to transform the flt image into three-dimensional layers.

The exhibition is on at the Ararat Regional Art Gallery from 27 March - 17 May 2015.

The official opening is at 1pm on Saturday Marxch 28th - all welcome. See the website for details.

Ararat Regional Art Gallery | intersection of Vincent Street and the Western Highway, Ararat

Hours: Monday to Friday 10am - 4.30pm. Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays 12-4pm
Closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Years Day and Good Friday.


Slipstitch is an Ararat Regional Art Gallery and NETS Victoria touring exhibition. www.netsvictoria.org.au.

The exhibition will travel to the following galleries

Benalla Art Gallery | 29 June - 30 August 2020

Swan Hill Regional Art Gallery | 19 October - 29 November 2020

Castlemaine Art Gallery | dates TBC

The tour of this exhibition has been made possible by Creative Victoria through the Touring Victoria program and a full colour catalogue publication has been generously supported by the Gordon Darling Foundation. For information about ordering a catalogue (available in March 2015) contact eleanor.adams@netsvictoria.org.