Elizabeth Kelly, Oceania Sphere. Photo: Steve Keough

Craft ACT celebrates collaboration in two new exhibitions

CRAFT ACT is delighted to launch two exciting new exhibitions: Macrocosmia, and Mark making,

Macrocosmia is a solo show by renowned glass artist Elizabeth Kelly that features three large-scale sculptures resulting from her decade-long research into organic microscopic structures including viruses and cellular life forms. Weighing up to 100kg each, Kelly’s glass sculptures are the result of an ongoing collaboration with a theoretical astrophysicist from the Australian National University, Dr Ralph Sutherland. Using a model based on spherical geometry, an internal frame was produced using a 3D printer to support the large-scale precision glass sculpture.

Elizabeth Kelly is an award-winning artist who studied at the Sydney College of the Arts and ANU, and trained at Jam factory in Adelaide. Now, she lives outside Canberra where she has a purpose-built studio for her practice as a sculptor and glass-maker. Kelly emphasises the importance of her collaboration with a scientist in the sculptures she shows for the first time to the public at Craft ACT:

“As the artist I could not have completed this work without co-operation of either the scientist or engineer: it has been an extraordinary collaborative process and demonstrates a great willingness across fields to explore with curiosity a new body of work”.

Mark making features the work of Bench: a small community of makers in Brisbane dedicated to promoting jewellery as an art form both nationally and internationally. These artists explore and manipulate the crossover between visual art, craft, fashion and design, seeking to extract the best principles from each area and incorporate them into their own practice. Their new exhibition Mark Making reflects upon the act of leaving or making a mark – for the maker, the wearer and the viewer.  Mark making is a broad term used to characterise the dots, lines, forms, patterns and textures used to create an artwork.

From the viewpoint of the wearer, jewellery may be collected or given as a gift to mark a special moment in time. But from my point of view as a maker, when I place a mark on a piece of jewellery it can have other meanings and I wanted to explore that,’ says Nellie Peoples, a Bench member and designer-maker, who grew up and studied in Canberra before moving to Brisbane.

All four Bench members have interpreted this concept, and how their collaborative environment supports and enhances critical thinking on the subject.

“The craft and design sector is characterised by collaboration – across sectors, disciplines and borders. These two beautiful exhibitions illustrate the power of collaboration to achieve innovation, invite new perspectives, and create intrinsic rewards such as connectedness and community building” said Rachael Coghlan, CEO + Artistic Director of Craft ACT, a respected 40-year-old membership organisation supporting artists, craft practitioners, designers and makers throughout their careers.

Macrocosmia, and Mark making will be open from 5 July – 25 August 2018 at Craft ACT: Craft + Design Centre.

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