artisan reopens with two new exhibitions inspired by COVID-19

artisan, Queensland’s peak body for craft, has fully reopened with the launch of two new exhibitions inspired by the global COVID-19 experience: AboutFace and artisan Collects.

AboutFace takes as its departure the highly evocative symbol of COVID-19, the face mask. The iconic image of the surgical mask emerged as a symbol for COVID-19 and the era of social distancing. To document this, artisan invited the international craft and design community to make, remodel, rework, embellish and decorate the simple home-made surgical mask as a creative reflection of the current global experience.

Selected masks now form an online exhibition as well as a window exhibition at artisan, showcasing 63 artists and 104 artworks from Australia, Indonesia, India, Bangladesh, Italy, Poland, Zambia and the UK.

Cassandra Lehman, curator of AboutFace explained that the contributing artists have brought their unique understanding and experience of this extraordinary time to the surface, using the mask as a starting point.

“These masks carry great meaning. They will endure and serve as a document for right now, for what we are going through and who we really are, in the face of COVID-19,” she said.

The second exhibition, artisan Collects, is a stunning curated showcase of collectable crafted artworks by local artists who challenge and reposition what craft can be.

artisan Collects responds to the dramatic effect COVID-19 has had on artists, whose income is at best precarious, and who have been drastically impacted by the loss of outlets for revenue generation through closures to combat coronavirus.

The contributing artists employ legacy craft and design skills, but their work sits beyond the functional. Their pieces are highly collectable crafted artworks. Artists exhibiting in artisan Collects include Aaron Micallef, Beata Batorwicz, Carol McGregor, Christine Atkins, Dagmar Maini, Gerhard Herbst, Glen Skein, Jo Bone, Karl De Waal, Lucy Quinn, Melissa Stannard, Paula Quintella, Pru Morrison, Sharon Muir and Sue Ryan.

Selected works in both AboutFace and artisan Collects are available for purchase. As Claire Sourgnes, CEO of artisan said, both exhibitions have been purposefully designed as opportunities for art lovers and collectors to buy original artwork, and in turn support the creative community.

“We have reopened our galleries with two exhibitions, artisan Collects and AboutFace, that are both geared to people who are in a position to purchase art,” she said.

“At artisan, we support artists by harnessing commercial and creative opportunities for visual artists, craftspeople and designers and advocating for the importance of craft and design in our every day lives.”

“Right now, one of the best ways Australians can show their support for creative practitioners is to purchase an original artwork or object.”

AboutFace and artisan Collects are on show at artisan until 22 August 2020. Entry is free.

artisan is located at 45 King Street in Bowen Hills and is now open for regular trading hours: Tuesdays to Fridays from 10am to 5pm and on Saturdays from 10am to 4pm.

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