Artist Talks – WCTA

Sunday 2 June  | 10.30 – -12noon


Join us for this dynamic selection of finalists from the Wangaratta Contemporary Textile Award of 2019 who will be delivering a suite of artists talks on their current works and textile practice. All three artists work across a variety of exploratory mediums and content.



Ashlee Laing

Laing was born in Melbourne in 1974. he graduated from Sydney College of the Arts with a Bachelor of Visual Arts (Photography) in 1995 and Victorian College of the Arts with a Masters of Contemporary Art in 2014. Laing has exhibited in solo and group shows Nationally and Internationally, he was also a 2014 recipient of Ian Potter Cultural Trust funding for supporting the diversity and excellence of emerging artists.
Laing is interested in the politics of belonging and in finding new ways to challenge existing social borders and cultural boundaries. A central concern of Laing’s work is personal response to dominant authorities and cultures that contradict his ideal of an inclusively diverse society, one that respects not only fundamental rights and freedoms, but also the social, cultural and sexual identities of individuals. Laing’s art is instantaneous, direct and without apology. Primarily known for his photographic and video installations, Laing also paints, draws, stages performances and invites public participation in his work. At times humorous and at times confronting, Laing elicits responses from his viewers. By inviting the audience to engage with politically loaded topics, he creates dynamic spaces open to dialogues. Laing’s artistic practice provides a powerful and often challenging commentary on what it means to look for a safe place to belong within contemporary society.
Much of Laing’s work features barriers that demand to be challenged or confronted. The borders in Ashlee Laing’s practice are not fixed or final, rather, they exist to be contemplated and tangled with, danced upon and scribbled out, to be broken down with heated conversation and good humour, and ultimately, disposed of with dignity.

image:Ashlee Laing, Untitled (Oi, Oi, Oi), 2018, Digital chromogenic print , 1250 x 1250



Raquel Ormella

Raquel Ormella has a diverse artistic practice that includes video, installation, textiles and creating zines. Her works investigates how art can encourage political consciousness and social action in relation to questions of national identity and the environment. In 2018 Shepparton Art Museum curated a solo survey show that is now touring the Eastern States with NETS Victoria. Ormella’s work has been included in the 2013 California-Pacific Triennial, 2010 Aichi Triennial (Japan), 2008 Sydney Biennale, the 2003 Biennale of Istanbul and the 2002 Sao Paulo Biennale (Brazil), as well as many group exhibitions in Australia including Material Politics, Institute of Modern Art Brisbane (2017) and The National, New Australian Art (2017) at the Art Gallery of NSW. She has held solo exhibitions at Milani Gallery in Brisbane, Artspace in Sydney, Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces and Lab14 in Melbourne. She is a Lecturer at the School of Art & Design, Australian National University, Canberra.


Photograph – Andy Mullens





Jennifer Robertson

Renowned internationally for innovative woven textiles, Robertson uses a unique purpose built digital handloom from her studio in Canberra and her works span a broad range of woven textile practice outcomes. Jennifer has collaborated with international textile industry with production outcomes and recently with the Research School of Earth Science and Professor Ian Jackson, Australian National University, where she lectures in the School of Art and Design.
In 2016 she was the recipient of an Australia Council Project Grant and a Vice Chancellor’s Artist Fellowship to realize sculptural woven 3D geological artworks using unconventional materials – basalt, carbon, glass, quartz, copper, stainless steel, silver and polyester. Jennifer works independently in her studio on thematic research projects with broad outcomes such as woven 2D and large scale 3D sculptural artworks, miniature 3D artworks, limited edition production – wraps, scarves, clothing and interior textiles, including upholstery and furnishings.
Exploring relationship between natural environment, human form, interior space and materiality, she investigates the poetic nature of materials using analogies and metaphors. Threads are constructed into often multiple layered structures imbued with sensorial properties. Informed and inspired by the intimate relationship between natural environment, cloth and life, from birth to death, cloth covers and protects, comforts and reveals. Embedded and appealing to our senses woven cloth delights, surprises and profoundly enriches life.




rsvp Saturday 2 June  03 5722 0865  or book now!