Tamworth Textile Triennial

Ilka White Dwelling, 2013 (detail) dry grass, hand spun thread, hand stitched, silk, embroidery, digital images, weaving, photography paper. Dimensions variable

Tamworth Textile Triennial

The Tamworth Regional Gallery is renowned for our Tamworth Textile Triennial.

The Triennial, held every three years, showcases the best of textile art from across the country, attracting artist participation from all states in Australia, wide audiences and critical review. The Triennial also assists to continue the development of our textile collection, as many works are purchased for the Tamworth Regional Gallery’s permanent collection.

'Open House: 3rd Tamworth Textile Triennial celebrates the open-ended, porous nature of textiles practice today. It introduces a group of artists who have not previously exhibited in the triennial.

All are linked in some way to a sense of broader engagement with things outside of themselves and their studios. Many celebrate the process of belonging that comes from working with other artists, while others take on wide-ranging issues such as the landscape and the environment and the artist’s place in a world beset by environmental, social and cultural upheaval.

Bringing it all together is a kind of openness that comes through exhibiting, talking and creating which can involve both artist and viewer as equal participants. The making process is equally as important as the works themselves, and the conversations while creating and showing create an open house where all ideas and responses are welcome.’    
Exhibition Curator, Glenn Barkley

The 3rd Tamworth Textile Triennial is an opportunity to build on the rich cultural history and reputation that the Tamworth biennials and triennials have established, while pushing forward new conversations and creating a safe place for unsafe discussions. Indigenous, multi-cultural, environmental and minority groups are all represented among the selected artists, providing a sense of broader engagement as the key theme for this exhibition.  

There is an ongoing interest in the overlaying of traditional textile techniques with new technologies as a means to create innovative approaches to practice that are relevant to today.

Exhibition Dates

The 3rd Tamworth Textile Triennial will be launched at the Tamworth Regional Gallery on 14 October 2017. The exhibition will be available for tour from 1 July 2018, throughout 2019 until 30 June 2020.   Tour: 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2020.   


Exhibition Curator: Glenn Barkley, co-founder of The Curators' Department, is a Sydney-based independent curator. He was previously senior curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (2008–14) and curator of the University of Wollongong Art Collection (1996–2007). In 2007–8 he was director and curator of the Ergas Collection. He has a diverse area of interest and knowledge, including ceramics, textiles, public art, artist books and ephemera, outsider art and other marginal art forms, and public and private collection management and development.

The panel for the selection of artists in the 3rd Tamworth Textile Triennial included:

  • Glenn Barkley, Curator

  • Bridget Guthrie, Director, Tamworth Regional Gallery

  • Valerie Kirk, Head of Textiles, Australian National University

  • Laine Rossler, Independent Artist, designer, curator and arts advisor  

  • Brian Robinson, Indigenous Artist, previously curator at Cairns Regional Gallery

The artists selected for the 3rd Tamworth Textile Triennial provide a strong Indigenous, multi-cultural and environmental focus. They include Indigenous artists Treahna Hamm, Carol McGregor, the Noongar Doll Makers of Western Australia, the Gomeroi Gaaynggal Centre and GhostNets Australia.  

A multi-cultural focus is present in the works by Jeanette Stok and Ema Shin. Environmental responses are represented in the works by Rebecca Mayo, Sally Blake and Raquel Ormella; and conversations about society are evident in the works by Joy Ivill, John Brooks and Meredith Woolnough.


  • Sally Blake ACT

  • John Brooks VIC

  • Sue Ryan of GhostNets Australia NT

  • Gomeroi Gaaynggal Centre NSW

  • Treahna Hamm VIC

  • Joy Ivill NSW

  • Carol McGregor QLD

  • Rebecca Mayo VIC

  • Noongar Doll Makers WA

  • Raquel Ormella ACT

  • Julia Robinson SA

  • Ema Shin VIC

  • Jeanette Stok QLD

  • Meredith Woolnough NSW