Monday, February 15, 2010

Endless Desires

Exhibition: The Endless Garment, The New Craft of Machine Knitting
Dates: Febuary 12 till March 21, 2010
Where: RMIT Gallery, 344 Swanston Street, Melbourne
Cost: Free
Exhibiting Artists: Issey Miyake, Walter Van Beirendonk, Sandra Buckland, Sibling, Nikki Gabriel, Ricarda Bigolin, Mark Fast, Freddie Robins, Roland Barthes, Yoshiki Hishinuma, Cooperative Designs, Saverio Palatella,

The highlight of this exhibition (for me) was not my anticipated Issey Miyake or Sandra Buckland, but actually the smaller names in the Design field.

Mark Fast’s extensive representation in this show allowed for a strong and coherent understanding of his design philosophies, matched with a complementary body of work. I enjoyed his strong conceptual ideas concerning the tension between body, structure and fabric, and more importantly how each interplays with one another to create an intimate relation with the wearer. Each of his displayed pieces was highly successful in their visual translation from the concept to the garment.

While the more outlandish designs from the Sibling were another surprise highlight. With great visual layout, their section was as exciting as it was cleaver. With a bright pink grandma style jumper, completely embroidered in a gradient of beaded rats, to another covered by cheetah print. I liked this playful approach to the technique of knitting, which is so commonly linked to old world crafts and never really art. Their whole display became brighter and bolder with the aid of their video, which was even kookier than their work!

It was also a real treat to be able to see some of the controversial works of Antwerp based artist Walter Van Beirendonk. His philosophies are as challenging as his work, and I especially love his courage in design. He is never afraid of colour, print or controversy.

My favourite pieces in the exhibition where by the Melbourne Designer Nikki Gabriel. They seemed to have a strong ethnic and tribal feel to them, but it came through with such refinement and consideration to design. The construction of her pieces where simply incredible to me, and I enjoyed looking at them as much as I wanted put it on!

Overall this exhibition certainly delivered its message of how current and modern the technique of machine knitting is. Through showcasing exciting and daring pieces as well as the highly considered concepts that are intertwined within the technique.


Drawing: by Helen Pappas 2010
Images sourced from:;ID=ukv51cxh9odb

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