Special Presentation by Dr Sam Bowker
3pm Friday 30 October in person at Belconnen Arts Centre in conjunction with the opening of Australia Wide Seven.
+ Live digital presentation for Ozquilt Network members only: Register Your Interest!
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Dr Sam Bowker is the Senior Lecturer in Art History and Visual Culture for Charles Sturt University with a deep understanding of the art and craft of quilting. Here is a summary of his presentation.
Contemporary quiltmaking is a dynamic and versatile field that engages the colonial past and global present, respects the agency of Indigenous Australian cultures, and sustains sophisticated and inclusive debate. Quilting generates a thriving ecosystem of critical and inclusive practice that is simultaneously competitive and empowering, yet it has been curiously overlooked by Australian art journals and galleries.
This presentation argues for the inclusion of quiltmaking across all forms of contemporary creative practice and presents the case for how this sector would benefit from engaging critically and actively with the cutting edge of Australian quiltmaking. It will challenge the values of contemporary art infrastructure and highlight what contemporary art galleries and funding agencies overlook when they regard quilts as ‘unworthy’ of inclusion in major exhibitions. The presentation will consider how this might be challenged, changed, and re-arranged, to show what artists, institutions, and art educators might yet learn from the best of Australian quiltmaking.