Exhibition Walk-through: Matthew H. Robb on Aboriginal Screen-Printed Textiles from Australia’s Top End
Join us on the closing weekend of Aboriginal Screen-Printed Textiles from Australia’s Top End for an exhibition walk-through with Chief Curator Matthew H. Robb.
This exhibition takes us on a journey around northern Australia, known as the “Top End,” and invites us to explore more than 70 distinctive, screen-printed textiles made by contemporary artists at five Aboriginal-owned art centers. Since the 1960s, these textiles have become a vibrant medium for Indigenous expression, perpetuating traditional knowledge and reinvigorating its visual manifestations. Today these fabrics both serve the needs of their communities and circulate as prized collectibles, interior furnishings, and fashion apparel. The Fowler installation, organized around the individual art centers, reveals the creativity and innovation of Aboriginal artists and their sources of inspiration. Accompanying videos offer glimpses of the process of screen-printing textiles and the ways artists have translated ancient painting techniques into new media. The videos also introduce local environments—escarpments, flood plains, waterholes, rivers, and seas—that shelter the local flora and fauna seen on fabrics in bold colors and striking patterns. Screen-printed textiles enable Indigenous artists to share their cultures and identities, while providing them with a sustainable livelihood. The exhibition pays tribute to the resilience and beauty of Aboriginal Australia and reminds us of the enduring connections between peoples and their lands.
We are thrilled to welcome our enthusiastic visitors once again to the Fowler’s innovative exhibitions! Spend some time in our galleries and enjoy that particular alchemy of art, people, and ideas mixing together in the physical space of the museum.