WCTA Forum

Sunday  4 June 2017 | 11am – 3pm

Cost – $35.  Concession/WAG Friends – $30
Light Lunch provided


Facilitator – Professor Liz Williamson, UNSW Art & Design

Feature Artists – Louise Saxton, Hannah Gartside, Douglas McManus, Mohsen Meysami

Louise Saxton

Louise Saxton is a Melbourne-based artist who was born in Walcha NSW, in 1958. She trained in painting and printmaking, completing her undergraduate degree in Fine Art at RMIT in 1992; a Post-graduate Diploma in Fine Art at the Victorian College of the Arts in 1994 and; a Master of Visual Art through the University of Ballarat in 2003.
Over the past decade and a half Louise’s practice has centered on the
reclamation and reconstruction of detritus from the home.  This has included; the re-use of everyday business envelopes; vintage wallpapers; domestic needlework; collectable and keepsake ceramics and; wildflower illustrations.
In 2006 a travel grant from the Sir Ian Potter Cultural Trust enabled Louise to undertake a month-long residency in the garden estate
of Rimbun Dahan, in Malaysia. Since that time her practice has engaged primarily with the reconstruction of discarded needlework, which she regards as a “silent collaboration with the anonymous original makers”.
Louise was awarded a grant from the Victorian Government through Arts Victoria, for the development of Sanctuary, a solo exhibition held at Heide Museum of Modern Art in 2012. This major body of work in reclaimed textiles led to Louise’s representation in Australia by Gould Galleries and in the USA by Mobilia Gallery, Boston MA.  Her work is held in regional and state collections in Australia and private collections in Australia, Malaysia, India and the USA.
Louise Saxton’s interest in rescuing and reclaiming for art, various materials from the home, coincides with her “increasing concern for our diminishing resources – both in the domestic realm and in the natural world”.  She situates her practice in relation to the second-wave feminist re-evaluation of ‘women’s work’ within the fine arts hierarchy.  She seeks to shed light on the anonymous and unacknowledged in the creation of art; through her use of materials painstakingly made by others and; by often reinterpreting the work of historical artists, many of who are important but, relatively unknown or under-rated women.


Douglas McManus

Douglas McManus is a Melbourne based artist who explores emerging high end technologies to create large scale sculptural art works. Originally studying fine art printmaking, he began to include textiles as a medium early in his career. McManus has emerged as a major contributor to the culture of textiles in Australia through his work as a practitioner, curator, researcher, and educator.
Key processes in his award winning work include laser engraving, 3D printing and sound activated lighting.The opportunity to create a partnership with Trotec Laser to have access to a laser cutter in his studio has allowed him to further experiment and push the boundaries of laser technology and textiles.
He has exhibited in significant exhibitions such as Melbourne Now at the NGV, and MONA Dark Mofo Festival. McManus is represented in major Australian museums including The Powerhouse, Sydney, The National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne and The Queen Victoria Museum, Launceston.
Douglas has recently returned from an artist in residence program at Trotec International headquarters in Austria where he produced two large installation based works for the company’s collection.



Hannah Gartside

Hannah Gartside is a Melbourne based artist who works predominantly with textiles, enabling the materials in their sculptural, emotive and performative capabilities. Gartside holds a Bachelor of Fine Art in Sculpture and Spatial Practice from Victorian College of Art, University of Melbourne, and a Bachelor of Fine Art with Honours (in Fashion Design) from Queensland University of Technology.

From 2009-13 Gartside designed and made costumes for contemporary dance, and worked as a costumier for Queensland Ballet, Queensland Theatre Company and Opera Queensland. Gartside was the recipient of the Lou & Mary Senini Student Art Award (2016) from McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park, and a National Gallery of Victoria Women’s Association prize (2016).

Her work has been exhibited at the ARC Art Craft and Design Biennale at QUT Art Museum, and in group shows at Metro Arts, Margaret Lawrence Gallery and Artisan Gallery. Her VCA graduate work was selected for exhibitions at Craft Victoria- Fresh, Yarra Sculpture Gallery- Chrysalis and Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts- Hatched. Gartside presented her first solo exhibition Felt and Held at George Paton Gallery in 2016.
In June- July this year she will attend the Varda Artist Residency- living and making art on a houseboat in Sausalito, California.

Hannah Gartside works predominantly with textiles: enabling the materials in their sculptural, emotive and performative capabilities. She uses found fabrics and objects from the material culture of past and present daily life. Her materials are carefully reconfigured using craft processes including quilting, sewing and wet-felting. In her practice she seeks to communicate hopefulness, vulnerability and desire. She is currently investigating the intersection of commodity fetishism and our cultural objectification of women. Physically, this involves transforming discarded materials and working towards sculptural presentations of aggressive and joyful eroticism.


Mohsen Meysami

Mohsen Meysami is an Iranian artist who lives and works in Melbourne, Australia. Currently a PhD candidate at RMIT University, he is conducting a practice-based research project focused on portraying the impacts of war using Persian traditional arts. He works across disciplines to reflect on ways in which methods of Destruction and Decoration can be used to create experiences which challenge people’s indifference towards others’ suffering.
The use of found Persian carpets and Kilims in his recent artworks not only signifies his Iranian identity, but also is regarded as a metaphor for resistance and peace which sit in stark contrast to the terrorising and militant image of Middle Eastern people portrayed by mainstream media.








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