Document Type

Creative Work

Publication Details

Wood Conroy, Diana (co-curator), 2004, Fabrics of Change: Trading Identities Exhibition, Faculty of Creative Arts Gallery, University of Wollongong and Flinders University City Gallery, Adelaide, 24 April - 2 August, 72p [Exhibition catalogue].



Research Background
Building on an understanding of postcoloniality that included studies in diaspora, and translation across languages and cultures, the exhibition ‘Fabrics of Change: trading Identities’ asked the question: what is the intrinsic relationship of textiles and texts across the historical and contemporary span of British colonisation? The show documented four areas of research into text and textiles: the Pacific, India, Canada, and Northern Australia.

Research Contribution
The exhibition was innovative because it revealed artefacts from Australian museum collections formerly hidden from view in juxtaposition with contemporary works. Contemporary textile artists (Osmond Kantilla, Kay Lawrence, Nadia Myre and John Pule from Australia, Canada and the Pacific) created new works which drew on that resource, adapting hybrid images and materials from very individual postcolonial histories of loss and change.

Research Significance
The research was completed with Discovery Grant ‘Fabric(ations) of the Postcolonial’ 2001-2004, with CIs Sharrad, Collett and Jones from the University of Wollongong. The exhibition was shown in the Faculty of Creative Arts Gallery UOW, and the Flinders University City Gallery, Adelaide in 2004. The artefacts were borrowed from major museums and galleries, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; The Australian Museum, Sydney; The Macleay Museum, Sydney; the South Australian Museum; and the National Museum, Canberra. The Australia Council contributed $30,000 towards the exhibition, in partnership with the Australian Research Council. Described as a ‘challenging’ exhibition by The Adelaide Review, the book of 72 pages and more than 10,000 words is still in demand nationally and internationally in 2009.