Wangaratta Contemporary Textile Award 2017

3 June – 6 August 2017 | Gallery1

This biennial nationally significant award has been presented by Wangaratta Art Gallery since 2009, and will again be a showcase of textile artistry and talent from across Australia. Wangaratta has a long and prominent history of textiles, both in manufacturing and as a craft form. Wangaratta Art Gallery builds upon this unique tradition through the presentation of this outstanding award which continues to recognise the high calibre practice that Australian artists provide to the national and international textile tableau.


Winner 2017 Wangaratta Contemporary Textile Award
Textile artist John Parkes was awarded the prestigious acquisitive $10,000, 2017 Wangaratta Contemporary Textile Award for his textile artwork Conflagration.

The winner John Parkes was announced at the official opening and announcement of award on Saturday 3 June. Endorsed by the Award Patron Assoc. Professor Liz Williamson from UNSW Art & Design and Judged by the Director Ararat Regional Art Gallery Anthony Camm,
Camm reflected on Parkes winning work by stating, “In making this work, John has engaged in a slow and gentle dialogue with three very different pieces of cloth.  He has honored the inherent memory in this material through a creative act of redemption that challenges our thinking about singularity and temporality.”Parkes was selected from a presentation of 40 finalists representing professional Australian textile artists who are working at the forefront of this most diverse contemporary medium.
Anthony Camm, Director Ararat Regional Art Gallery as the Official Judge for the Wangaratta Contemporary Textile Award 2017.

Since 2007, Anthony Camm has been the Director of Ararat Regional Art Gallery  – a gallery that holds the most comprehensive collection of post-1970s textile art in Australia.  Since 2013 he has combined his gallery responsibilities with his role as Manager Cultural Services, Ararat Rural City Council. He established the business case and attracted funding and support for a transformative $6.235 M redevelopment of the Ararat Arts Precinct.  This project will be completed in time to celebrate the gallery’s 50th year in 2018.  Anthony has more than 20 years’ experience in arts administration and policy roles, including at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Wyndham City Council and Footscray Community Arts Centre. He holds a BA from LaTrobe University, a graduate diploma (art history) and post graduate diploma (art curatorship) from Melbourne University.  He is a regional representative on the Public Galleries Association of Victoria,  a past board member of NETS Victoria and past committee member of the Victorian Foundation for Living Australian Artists.



The WCTA 2017 Official Award Patron is Associate Professor Liz Williamson, UNSW Art & Design.


Liz Williamson is an internationally respected textile artist and her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. Her research reflects a long standing interest in the history, use and construction of cloth itself, in particular the repair of cloth and the process of darning.  She has designed for industry, produced unique works for major exhibitions and maintained ongoing studio production, specializing in hand-woven scarves and wraps, since establishing her own studio in 1985.
Passionately researched over three decades, her knowledge and skills in relation to textiles are a remarkable resource. In her work she embraces some of the oldest techniques of her craft along with new and innovative computer aided processes. Williamson’s work is represented in most major public collections in Australia including the National Gallery of Australia, the National Gallery of Victoria and the Powerhouse Museum. She has presented numerous guest lectures and workshops in Europe, Asia, North America and here in Australia where she continues to be a tireless advocate for the contemporary craft and design sector.
She is involved in cultural develop projects in Asian, working with artisan groups and weavers to assist then develop sustainable products and contemporary designs. Liz has conducted workshops in India, Pakistan, Vietnam, India and the Philippines. In 2007 Liz was selected for the prestigious Living Treasures : Masters of Australian Craft series, an award given by Object Gallery and Craft Australia acknowledging her 30 years contribution to the craft and design sector through her practice, education and advocacy. Liz Williamson : Textiles her solo exhibition opened at Object Gallery in November 2008 before touring Regional Galleries nationally during 2009, 2010 and 2011. Dr Grace Cochrane is the author of the publication with the same name. This project received major funding from the Australia Council and Visions Australia. Liz was Head, School of Design Studies at the College of Fine Arts from 2008 to 2013.

Related Programs

WCTA Opening

WCTA Forum

Pinning Down Imagination Workshop with Louise Saxton

Carve & Stamp Workshop with Ema Shin

How Long is a Ball of String

Exchange of Ideas: How Textile Crafts can assist the Homeless

Camo Printing Workshop

Felties Workshop



Image left (bottom): John PARKES, Conflagration, 2017, cotton, wool cloth, cotton thread, hand stitch, discharge and overdye, enamel paint stains, 137 x 125cm. Winner of the 2017 WCTA. Wangaratta Art Gallery Collection.