RMIT Gallery touring exhibition to open at Fremantle Arts Centre 31 July

RMIT Gallery Unfolding: New Indian Textiles 20 MAR 2015 - 30 MAY 2015 Indian textile designers are the envy of the rest of the world because they continue to have close, easy contact with all manner of hand production and crafts no longer available elsewhere.

RMIT Gallery
Unfolding: New Indian Textiles
20 MAR 2015 – 30 MAY 2015, photograph Mark Ashkanasy 2105

After a successful season at RMIT Gallery this year, Unfolding: New Indian Textiles, the glorious Indian textile exhibition curated by Maggie Baxter opens on Friday 31 July at Fremantle Arts Centre in Western Australia.

Indian textiles are world-famous for being exquisite, handmade and finely crafted. They represent a compelling aesthetic with deep roots and profound cultural meaning. Unfolding: New Indian Textiles is an elegant exhibition which highlights the supreme craftsmanship and beauty of work by contemporary Indian textile designers and artists, drawing on these traditions.

RMIT Gallery Acting Director Helen Rayment will be flying across Australia to the opening. Ms Rayment worked as Exhibition Coordinator on Unfolding, travelling to India for RMIT Gallery earlier this year to consolidate all the exhibits and visit the artists and designers.

Photo by Helen Rayment

Photo by Helen Rayment

“When preparing all the exhibits for freight I had the pleasure of visiting all the studios and design houses in Delhi and Mumbai and meeting all the incredible, talented people involved in the project,” she said.

The exhibition features saris, uncut cloth and street wear, and examines the ways in which the traditional skills, motifs and production methods, developed over centuries, and are evolving in light of international influences and modern technologies. Designers such as Himanshu Dogra of Play Clan use traditional motifs and images from Indian storytelling updated with digital technology in stunning, brightly colored saris and homewares.

The exhibition at RMIT Gallery was launched on 26 March by Ms Manika Jain, the Acting High commissioner of India, and featured a public program with visiting artists Himanshu Dogra (Play Clan), Parul Thaker (visual artist) and Bappaditya Biswas (bai lou). Bappditya will also be appearing as a guest at the exhibition launch of Unfolding in Perth, where the exhibition runs from Exhibition Runs Sat 1 August – Sat 19 September.RMIT Gallery opening of Unfolding with (left to right) visual artist Parul Thaker, curator Maggie Baxter,and Play Clan designers  Dhruti and Himanshu Dogra. Photograph Vicki Jones.

RMIT Gallery opening of Unfolding with (left to right) visual artist Parul Thaker, curator Maggie Baxter, designer Dhruti Dogra (play Clan), RMIT Gallery Exhibition Coordinator Helen Rayment, designer bappaditya Biswas (bai lou) and designer Himanshu Dogra (Play Clan).  Image: Vicki Jones Photography.

Maggie Baxter has an intimate connection with fine Indian textile makers for 25 years. Ms Rayment said she met her while working in India with RMIT Gallery Director Suzanne Davies on the RMIT Gallery exhibition Kindness: Udarta in 2011.

“That’s where Maggie first told us about her interest in documenting contemporary Indian textiles, which Ms Davies encouraged her to develop into an exhibition at RMIT Gallery. It was wonderful to help Maggie realise that project, and then see her book on contemporary Indian textiles subsequently launched at the opening of Unfolding at RMIT Gallery.”

The Fremantle Arts Centre exhibition coincides with the WA launch of Maggie Baxter’s book Unfolding: Contemporary Indian Textiles. The book is available to purchase from FOUND at Fremantle Arts Centre.

Maggie Baxter works in Perth as a public arts coordinator and is a textile artist as well as a curator. Her textile work is tightly entwined with the connection she has had with India since her first visit in 1990. Her fist solo exhibition in New Delhi at the Visual Arts Gallery won her the award for the Best Design and Craft Show 2004. Her pieces employ weaving, block-printing and embroidery to create work that can satisfy both two and three dimensional forms.

RMIT Gallery opening of Unfolding on 26 March - RMIT Gallery Director Suzanne Davies (at podium) with Ms Manika Jain, Acting High Commissioner of India, who provided the opening address. Photo: Vicki Jones Photography

RMIT Gallery opening of Unfolding on 26 March – RMIT Gallery Director Suzanne Davies (at podium) with Ms Manika Jain, Acting High Commissioner of India, who provided the opening address.  Image: Vicki Jones Photography

Under the leadership of Suzanne Davies, RMIT Gallery has developed a unique transcultural relationship with India. A Board member and Chair of the Australia-India Council, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (2004 – 2012), Ms Davies has worked creating cultural opportunities and strategic partnerships for RMIT University across India for more than a decade.

Farewell to Dr. Arpad Sölter from the Goethe-Institut Australien

Off to Stockholm: RMIT Gallery Director Suzanne Davies bids a fond farewell to Dr. Arpad-Andreas Sölter   Goethe-Institut. Australienas he takes up his new position in Sweden.

Off to Stockholm: RMIT Gallery Director Suzanne Davies bids a fond farewell to Dr. Arpad Sölter the Director of the Goethe-Institut Australien, as he takes up his new position in Sweden.

From the glorious sunshine and mild weather of Australia to the rugged winters of Scandinavia – RMIT Gallery Director Suzanne Davies was on hand to bid farewell to Dr. Arpad Sölter, Director of the GoetheInstitut Australien, as he left Sydney to take up a position as director of the GoetheInstitut Sweden.

Dr Sölter said that it was with sadness that he announced his departure from Sydney for his relocation to Stockholm on the 26th of July after four years dedicated to promoting cultural exchange between Germany and Australia.

Dr. Arpad-Andreas Sölter shares some fond memories of Australia.

Dr. Arpad-Andreas Sölter shares some fond memories of his time in Australia.

“During this time I had the honour of crossing your paths and working with you. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your great support, trust and encouragement.”

“I would like to express my gratitude for your interest in the GoetheInstitute and for our wonderful collaboration.”

Ms Davies said Dr Sölter had opened the 2012 RMIT Gallery exhibition New Olds and spoke at the opening of the 2014 exhibition Ulm School of Design ;(opened by Michael Pearce, German Honorary Consul-General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Melbourne) at which he announced that the new exhibition Geniale Dilletanten: subculture in Germany in the 1980s (currently showing in Munich at the Haus der Kunst) would be coming to RMIT Gallery on the first stop of its international tour.

“I have just been to Munich see Geniale Dilletanten and we are in for a real treat in Melbourne when the exhibition opens at RMIT Gallery on 13 November,” Ms Davies said.

“This is going to be another successful partnership with the Goethe Institut, which had its beginnings in the early 1970’s, when most educational institutions in Australia were hungry for information and cultural exchanges with countries other than the UK.”

Ms Davies said that RMIT Gallery and the Goethe-Institut Melbourne, which was founded in 1972, have built on the cross cultural partnership to create an impressive visual presence of Germany in the heart of Melbourne.

“We value our friendship with the Goethe-Institut and the strong links we have made with German artists and curators and wish Dr Sölter all the best for his position in Sweden.”

RMIT Gallery Director Suzanne Davies shares some reflections of the Gallery's collaboration with the Goethe Institut.

RMIT Gallery Director Suzanne Davies shares some reflections of the Gallery’s collaboration with the Goethe Institut.

Dr Sölter said that Ms Sonja Griegoschewski would take over as the Director of the GoetheInstitut Australien from the 1st of September 2015.