Friday, June 10, 2011

Dangling Carrots

What a great title for an exhibition... and fairly apt as this is yet another last minute exhibition mention. 

Michelle Hamer's exhibition of tapestries finishes at Craft Vic tomorrow. I saw the show last week and have been thinking about it ever since. As an urban craftsperson I relate to Michelle's language and I very much appreciate the subject matter she chooses to explore. 

The press release states...

Dangling Carrots is Michelle Hamer’s tenth solo show in just five years of exhibiting. Her hand-stitched tapestries on perforated plastic explore personal, suburban and urban limits. The works, based on Hamer's own photographs taken during the Global Financial Crisis, continue her interest in socio-historic documentation through signage.

This new series questions the ‘suburban dream’ ideal. Large tapestries of signage within everyday suburbia are accompanied by smaller tapestries of ‘No Road’ signage. Taken at different suburban edge locations these signs literally mark edges and raise personal questions of how to proceed when life appears to be a series of challenges. Dangling Carrots explicitly questions the contemporary relevance of the ‘suburban dream’ in a post GFC climate. How do we reconcile edges and endless sprawl with environmental ideals of greater density? Do our dreams have limits or is that just reality?

Hamer’s works explore the small in-between moments of apparent ‘nothingness’ that characterise everyday life. She is particularly interested in contemporary societal edicts/ideals and the impermanent and in-between spaces as represented through signage and billboards. The traditional technique of hand-stitching is used to explore an ironic romanticism present between tapestry and the digitalisation of imagery in contemporary society.

It's a terrific statement. I am impressed by the questions raised. And of course I like the road signs, there is just something about road signs, such great metaphors for contemporary life...

Michelle Hamer (with Cat Wilson): Dangling Carrots

29 April - 11 June

Gallery 1
Craft Vic

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