Current, Otago Museum, 1877 Gallery, 18 March – 2 July 2017
To coincide with this year’s iD Fashion Week, the Otago Museum invited a group of emerging artists and designers to create new work based on the museum’s extensive textile collections. The result is fabulous.
It’s not a big exhibition, just nine objects and nine works in one of the exhibition spaces in the original part of the museum. Objects are displayed so you can get a good look at them, especially the original objects, which get you close enough to see the delicate darns in the stockings that inspired artist Devon Smith’s drawings or the scales of the salmon skin suit from China that Melanie Child echoes in her denim dress, jacket and scarf.
Over on a table, you can get closer still to the technicalities of some of the new work, with samples of the prints and fabrics and ceramic used by the artists. Four of the new artworks are at least garment-shaped, but transformations are various, from one kaftan to another, from dress or bag to painting, from tiny hat to four-piece suit plus accessories, from Swanndri bush shirt to ceramics.
The electronically supplied labels are comprehensive, with a curator’s note as well as details of both objects, an artist bio and further close-up images. This information is also available at the exhibition website (below), but if you’re in Dunedin between now and 2 July, it’s an absolute delight. There will be guided tours at 2pm throughout iD Fashion Week.
(You can also click on the gif above for a quick runthrough of Current)
And some more indepth coverage from the ODT and Otago’s student magazine, Critic