Exploded Textiles

An Art Gallery of New South Wales Partnership with Tamworth Regional Gallery to coincide with ArtState Tamworth

Lucy Irvine, Continuous Interruptions, (detail) 2011, Irrigation piping, cable ties, steel, paint, 1150 mm(H) x 1800mm (W) x 1300 mm (D). Purchased in 2011 from Sensorial Loop: 1st Tamworth Textile Triennial for inclusion in the Tamworth Fibre Textile Collection. Photography: Lou Farina, Tamworth.



Exploded textiles, a partnership between AGNSW and Tamworth Regional Gallery, is an exhibition of contemporary textile-based works from the AGNSW and Tamworth collections initiated to celebrate Tamworth’s 100-year anniversary. The exhibition also celebrates Tamworth’s famous focus on textile art, as home of the Tamworth Textile Triennial (or its precursors) since 1975.

Exploded textiles present works from both collections in compelling ways – none of which is as ‘textile art’ in the usual understanding of the term. These artworks may be made of fabric, but it is not an exhibition of ‘textile art’. These are textile works by default, or rather as the inevitable result of the evolution of their form and content. Any notion of them as ‘purely’ textiles is exploded.

Some works mine the inherent properties of textiles; some use textiles to declare and create dialogue, while others make connections between nature and culture, including the cultures of modernism and colonialism. Contemporary works in the exhibition also recognize in textiles the capacity to speak of memory, displacement and identity, and in some instances a specifically Indigenous identity. Australian and international works from the AGNSW collection will be joined by works from the Tamworth Regional Gallery collection to form a powerful conversation about materiality and medium specificity.




Tamworth Regional Gallery

466 Peel Street Tamworth

28 September - 01 December 2019