Threads: Contemporary Textiles & the Social Fabric
Wang Jin

October 1 2011 - February 5 2012

Queensland Art Gallery, Queensland, Australia

1 October 2011 – 5 February 2012 | Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA)

Threads transformed through knitting, weaving, looping and stitching are the most flexible of materials. Often carrying significant personal and cultural narratives, they move across temporal and spatial boundaries, connecting old and new ideas, just as they provide important links between people, places and ways of life. Threads also have the capacity to unravel, opening up possibilities for innovation, discord and creative change.

Bringing together a diverse range of contemporary textiles from the Gallery’s Australian, Asian and Pacific Collections, ‘Threads: Contemporary Textiles and the Social Fabric’ celebrates the ways in which contemporary artists explore and extend the textile medium.

The Gallery formally accepted a significant 22 metre long Tongan ngatu tā’uli (black bark-cloth) in a special ceremony in Auckland on 5 September 2011. The work was commissioned by the Queensland Art Gallery as one of several major new collection acquisitions to mark the 5th anniversary of the opening of the Gallery of Modern Art.

Many works from the exhibition draw on traditional textile practices while also engaging new technologies, materials and imagery to reflect and transform existing social, political and cultural conditions. Through the visually striking designs, skilled techniques and richly textured surfaces of contemporary textiles, the exhibition investigates their function as a form of skin or interface with other cultures, the use of abstraction and rhythm to engage with local environments, the weaving of new histories and ideas of nation, and the continued vitality of garden imagery.