Time for an exhibition: Twentyone+


Studying a PhD is a time-consuming business, and so is writing a blog.  The PhD won out and the blog was put aside these last six months to make way for more academic writing…

But a welcome interlude this year has been organising Twenty-One+  – a juried exhibition of contemporary Australian textiles at the wonderful Spectrum Gallery in Mount Lawley. With a lot of deliberation and hard work we decided on an on-line catalogue, which can be accessed here http://waftatwentyoneplus.com.au/

Sponsored by WAFTA, for the last 18 months Jan Mullen, Louise Wells, Gail Hawes and Joy Keith and I have met and planned and organised. Finally one week in June we prepared the gallery and with Spectrum’s wonderful Donna and our curator Alison Hayles, we installed the twenty-one artworks chosen by the jurors.

My piece was originally conceived of as a frame to glue to the wall, a colonial frame for the women of my study, a frame with nothing in it – to show their invisible presence in history.

A Shelley, Colonial Framing (close up) 2016

A Shelley, Colonial Framing, 2016
Annie Shelley, Colonial Framing, 2016

But with the curatorial process it became an installation, and subsequently conveyed the journeys the women made and the faint threads of stories they left behind them.

A Shelley Untitled 2016
Annie Shelley, Untitled, 2016

Porcelain Threads, that Alana McVeigh and I made is a collaboration, combining textiles with porcelain. We have many more ideas to follow up on, combining the histories of both media to come up with something new.

The opening is always the best, and a great end to the hard work. Jan Mullen needs to be commended for her vision with this exhibition, her hard work and the wonderful precedent she has set for textiles in Western Australia. Twentyone+ has been well received and we hope it establishes the tradition of a biennial exhibition here in Perth which showcases contemporary Australian textiles.

3 thoughts on “Time for an exhibition: Twentyone+

  1. This is wonderful Annie … what an incredible journey you are on – just like the women you are researching. Exploring new frontiers!



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