Twentieth – Twenty-First Century Australian Art (Gallery 15), Level 3
The Cicely and Colin Rigg Contemporary Design Award is a generous legacy of the late Colin Rigg (1895-1982), a former NGV Trustee and Secretary of the Felton Bequest. The award is arguably the richest and most prestigious prize ever offered to a contemporary designer, with a prize of $30,000. Celebrating contemporary design practice in the state of Victoria, each award has been devoted to a particular medium.
This year’s exhibition highlights the ever-expanding scope of new work created within the textile medium, as well as the broad range of backgrounds, approaches and inspirations of the artists who have created the works. In each of the works there is a pervading sense of unrestricted creative space and attitude within which they have been conceptualised, made, re-made and assembled. The fluidity that exists for artists and designers who want to move between mediums and categories of making is evident in the work created for this award. Printing, weaving, knitting, stitching and dyeing of fabric are still adopted by some in a singular sense, but this may also be interchanged, adapted and appropriated as part of a more pluralistic approach. Being a tactile and fluid medium, textiles are a rich and accessible manifestation of our ‘material’ lives. In the domestic, personal, industrial and scientific realms the role of textiles is forever developing in both familiar and innovative directions. Textiles are laden with meaning and memory, and it is these associations and emotional resonances that make them such an appealing medium in which to create responsive and challenging works.
Louise Weaver is the recipient of this year’s Cicely and Colin Rigg Contemporary Design Award.