vivonne thwaites



kay lawrence


Lineage 2009
Woven tapestry 3 w/cm
Cotton warp; linen, cotton and wool weft
Each tapestry is approx 37 x 30 cm

Lineage new works by Kay Lawrence AM, Professor of Visual Art, School of Art, Architecture and Design, University of South Australia

'This collection of tea towels presents a kind of lineage. Bought in the 1960's by my grandmother and my great aunt, they were used daily, folded and stacked, passed on to my uncle and finally in 2008 inherited by me. Before they migrated to Australia from the United Kingdom in the late 1920s my grandmother, Blanche, was a children's nanny, my great aunt Amy, an assistant cook in a school. My life has had opportunities unimaginable to young women coming to maturity in the early years of the 20th century. But our lives are linked through the daily routines of domestic life, cooking, cleaning, using cups and bowls, washing and drying them with linen or cotton cloths. Despite the social upheavals and the changing roles of women in the last one hundred years these routines represent a small continuity.

Most of the thirty one tea towels were woven with simple stripes and checks. Stripes are fundamental to the weaving process. They visually describe the structure of the fabric, the repetitive process of laying the weft in the warp, working from side to side to build the cloth row by row. The stripes and checks also recall how these cloths are used, in the repetitive rituals of drying and mopping up that maintain the order of the kitchen.

For me, these simple tapestries based on striped and checked tea towels signify domestic order and familial connection. I was also thinking of the painter Agnes Martin as I made them, particularly the meditative simplicity of her hand drawn lines and grids. But unlike Martin's work, these images do not aim to evoke a transcendent spirituality, but refer to their origins as objects in the physical world casting a slight shadow, at the same time as suggesting in their structure, the repetitive rhythms of the body engaged in domestic work'.

Kay Lawrence April 2011

kay lawrence - cv

Professor Kay Lawrence AM
Director, South Australian School of Art, Art, Architecture and Design, University of South Australia

2010 ‘A Woman’s place is in the House. The Women’s Suffrage Centenary Community Tapestries’ Australian Fine & Decorative Art Society Lecture, Melbourne
2010 ‘Making the Parliament House Embroidery’ Australian Fine & Decorative Art Society Lecture tour, Adelaide and Armidale
2008 Convenor, Australian Council of University Art and Design Schools Conference, Adelaide
2002 Consultant, Adelaide Festival 2002 Intertwine event, workshops and forum
2011 Board of the Australian Tapestry Workshop
2004 - 2007 President, Craft Australia
2002 - 2008 National Executive, ACUADS Australian Council of Art and Design Schools
Oral history project on the Parliament House Embroidery with the National Library of Australia
2010 Power cloths of the Commonwealth, National Crafts Museum, Delhi
2010 Heartlines, curated by Mary Knights for the 2010 Adelaide Festival
2010 Quiet Reader, Adelaide Central Gallery, SA
2009 Distilled Matter, Louis Carlos Bernal Gallery, Tucson, Arizona
2009 Wangaratta Contemporary Textile Award, Wangaratta exhibitions Gallery, Victoria
2008 This everything water, South Australian School of Art Gallery, 2008 Adelaide Festival
2006 17th Tamworth Textile Biennial In the world: head, hand, heart Tamworth City Gallery,
2004 Fabrics of Change, Trading Identities Flinders University City Gallery, Adelaide
2002 Material Culture Australian National Gallery, Canberra
2002 Weaving the Murray Art Gallery of South Australia & Prospect Gallery then touring SA
2001 Frisson;13th Tamworth Textile Biennale Tamworth Regional Gallery, touring Australia
2000 Chemistry Art Gallery of South Australia
1999 Close Ties , Kay Lawrence and Marcel Marois University of Queensland Art Museum
2010 Project grant, Arts SA
2009 Supervisor of the Year, Masters by Research, Division of EASS, UniSA
2007 Project grant, Arts SA
1998 H C Coombs Creative Arts Fellow Australian National University
1996-1998 Australian Research Council small grants $40,000 Significant Women Artists at the South Australian School of Art Kay Lawrence, Cathy Speck
1996 Fellowship $35,000 Visual Arts/Craft Fund Australia Council
1989 Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for the Parliament House Embroidery
2002 - 2003 Commissioned artwork for Glazed Entry, State Library of South Australia
1995 - 1996 Tapestry Daughter for Art Gallery of South Australia
1990 - 1992 Tapestry commissioned for Sembler Building St Petersburg, Florida, USA
1987 - 1988 Tapestry commissioned for the Prime Minister's Suite, new Parliament House, Canberra
1984 - 1986 Designer and co-ordinator Parliament House embroidery, Parliament House, Canberra
1999 - 2001 Coordinator Barbara Hanrahan Community Tapestry Project
1993 Designer Women's Suffrage Centenary Community Tapestries, South Australian Parliament
1989 Designer Regency Park Community Tapestry, Regency Park Centre for the young disabled
1981-1985 Salisbury Community Tapestry, Hills Community Tapestry, Crafers School Tapestry, Millicent Community Tapestry
National Gallery of Australia, Art Gallery of South Australia, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Queensland Art Gallery, Queen Victoria Museum and Art and Art Gallery, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Tamworth Art Gallery, Ararat Art Gallery, Parliament House, Canberra, Parliament House, Adelaide, University of South Australia, private collections



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