Craftivism. Dissident Objects and Subversive Forms is a collaborative, playful and immersive exhibition featuring craft-based materialities with a political intent, by contemporary Australian artists and artist collectives.
Craft, activism and social change have long been interlinked; they have crossed boundaries and borders, genders and generations. Craftivism. Dissident Objects and Subversive Forms evidences this moment in contemporary art, embracing craft techniques in order to explore and articulate the ideas and issues of our times.
Artists featured in the exhibition include: Catherine Bell, Karen Black, Penny Byrne, Erub Arts, Debris Facility, Starlie Geikie, Michelle Hamer, Kate Just, Deborah Kelly, Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran, Raquel Ormella, Slow Art Collective, Tai Snaith, Hiromi Tango, James Tylor, Jemima Wyman and Paul Yore.
Ms Mardi Nowak, NETS Victoria Director said, “We are excited with work with Warwick Art Gallery, to showcase this amazing exhibition, curated regionally specifically for our regional audiences.”
“Craftivism. Dissident Objects and Subversive Forms reveals the myriad ways that these artists challenge our perceptions of craft materials and approaches within a contemporary context, inviting viewers to rethink craft in a new light,” said Dr Rebecca Coates, exhibition Co-Curator and SAM Director.
Image: Paul Yore, Map, 2012, wool needlepoint, 90 x 101 cm, Wangaratta Art Gallery Collection, © the artist
Thomas went to the National Gallery School (Victoria University) and studied Painting under John Brack, Drawing and Printmaking under Fred Williams. He completed a Diploma of Fine Art in 1963. He graduated from RMIT University in Art in 1965 and post graduate Industrial Design in 1967. The same year he went to Montsalvat and continued his art career assisting Matcham Skipper with some large sculpture and silversmithing commissions.
His art career lead him to teaching vocational Art at La Trobe University (Bendigo), Barrier Reef Institute of TAFE (Townsville) - School of Art and Design where he became the Head of the School in 1988. He was appointed foundation Head of the School of Visual Art and Design at James Cook University in 1991 - 1996. Whilst at James Cook University he undertook research and studies and was awarded a Master of Creative Arts Degree in 1994. He opened Artyfacs Studio in Aratula in 1997 and moved to Warwick in 2003.
In this exhibition ,Reflections, Thomas will present a suite of acrylic paintings that explore and revisit places that have had an impact on his life.
Image: Redcliff Mildura Thomas Benkendorff
Image: Along the Birdsville Tracknear Birdsville, Queensland photo by Colin Beard