ARARAT - In the last year, in response to community and visitor feedback, there has been a greater effort made to present exhibitions drawn from Ararat Regional Art Gallery's permanent collection.
Gallery A is increasingly used to showcase objects from the permanent collection and is presently featuring the work of one of Australia's most admired textile artists, Kay Lawrence AM.
Kay Lawrence is represented in the permanent collection with 'House/Self' (1989) - a key work in the gallery's unique studio tapestry sub-collection.
This intimate exhibition provides an insight into this artist-weaver's practice and the processes she pursued to create this major tapestry. Her tapestry is presented in the exhibition alongside six related drawings and three tapestry samples recently gifted by the artist.
The 'House/Self' series was made in response to an encounter described by Kay in 1989: 'A friend changed jobs, endured a difficult relationship, moved from house to house and finally as she left the state she had to abandon her car of 15 years on the Sturt Highway, on her birthday. We were surprised but pleased when she returned'.
'She went straight to the weekend papers, checked the real estate, looked at two houses and bought the second one on the spot. When we went round to have a look there was no key. So she took a burnt stick from the woodpile near the back door and drew a plan on the concrete; the verandah, the bedrooms, the kitchen and the bathroom, the symmetry of the sleepouts and the tanks, rubbing out the mistakes with her foot. 'There,' she said, 'my house'.'
The 'House/Self' drawings were made shortly after this event in quick succession in late 1988 at Lawrence's studio in South Australia. She selected drawing number 7 to translate into a single tapestry.
This tapestry contains a striking contrast between the immediacy of Lawrence's mark-making in her drawings and its translation through the disciplined, time-intensive labour of tapestry weaving. The inter-relationship between these distinct yet related practices is highlighted in this exhibition, which continues to April 3.
Next week sees the arrival of a new addition to the permanent collection, Jenny Watson's 'After a fashion, with a bag' (2008-09). This new acquisition will be on show from Thursday this week.
Jenny's work will take pride of place on a freshly painted pink wall in Gallery C. We look forward to hearing what you think of this significant new acquisition and our current main exhibition, 'Waradgerie Weaver', featuring recent work by acclaimed sculptor, Lorraine Connelly-Northey.
Ararat Regional Art Gallery