Piinpi

“The timing is right,” says curator Shonae Hobson about the current explosion in contemporary Indigenous fashion. “And the timing is right because this space is really being led by First Nations people.”

Hobson has brought together 70 artists from across Australia for Piinpi at Bendigo Art Gallery. The survey is a testament to the breadth and diversity of this space right now, and includes wearable art and sculpture, runway fashion, streetwear, textile design, jewellery and more. If it’s a broad exhibition, that’s part of the point.

One of the artists is Maree Clarke, who has a three-decade practice across body adornment, photography, lenticular prints, sculpture and major public art commissions. “Still, in 2020, when you say you’re an artist, people say ‘oh, do you do dot paintings?’” she says. “I just roll my eyes.”

Full story in the September/October 2020 issue of Art Guide.

Rhonda and Susannah Hamlyn

Rhonda and Susannah Hamlyn in Art Monthly

Rhonda Hamlyn’s decade-long collaboration with her mother Susannah (Beatrice) Hamlyn was intense, involving long hours at home together making layered, densely embroidered textiles. They called these works patterned rugs, and later also wall hangings, but the suggestion of soft furnishings was misleading.

They were not entirely abstract or representational, but instead offered slow synaesthetic meditations on language, meaning, sensation and experience.

Their works were not easy to categorise. Rhonda Hamlyn (1944–2015) and Susannah Hamlyn (1916–1994) began their collaboration in the early 1980s, at a time when clear pigeonholes existed for women’s textile work. Their rugs drew on handiwork traditions, shared knowledge and collaborative practice, but did not slot easily into these narratives.

Full story in the Spring 2020 issue of Art Monthly.