People, place, politics: giving art a voice - The Community Leader and Real Estate New and Views
Local Arts

“Art can be so much more than just something pretty and passive. Art has important things to say, it can challenge people’s thoughts and change the way we see things. Art can carry a powerful message, not with words but through the impact of visual confrontation.”

Textile artist Susan Hoy’s approach to the current art exhibition, mounted at Redland Museum by the Queensland Branch of the Australian Textile Art and Surface Design Association, is reminiscent of Augusto Boal’s approach to the performing arts: “Theatre is a weapon and it is the people who should wield it.”

In the People, Place, Politics exhibition, participating artists comment on how these three aspects impact and influence their art. Artists work in any material, style and medium and the results are fascinating – and powerful.

“We don’t live in a vacuum,” says Susan, “we’re all influenced by where we live, what happens in our lives, and the effect that political decisions have on our society. That’s why this exhibition has been devised, to give visual art a voice.”

All media are grist to the mill and contributing artists have been encouraged to use a diverse range of techniques and materials and textile-based pieces may incorporate beads, twigs, threads, seedpods, shells, twine, paper, paint, parchment, wool, bark, dye, woven cane, printing, felt, metallic foil, wax, glass…an absolute cornucopia of texture, albedo and colours to catch the eye and the imagination.

One of the contributing artists has created a piece focussing on the Voice Referendum and its repercussions in the community. Two other artists have developed art pieces around the effect on the local environment of increasing land development and loss of wetlands.

Susan has chosen the human and environmental costs of fast fashion as her target, with a calico dress decorated with prints and information about the tonnes of wasted textiles that go into landfill, polluting the environment in their manufacture and disposal and keeping textile workers in poverty.

Susan says that interested creatives are encouraged to join ATASDA, a national not-for-profit organisation which promotes textile art and surface design.

“We seek to inspire our membership through the development of a creative community and the provision of opportunities for learning new skills. If you’re inspired by textile art and excited by its possibilities – and if you care about the world around you come and talk to us!”

People, Place, Politics will be held from November 6, 2023 through to January 2024 at Redland Museum, 30 Smith St., Cleveland.

You may be interested in