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November 16, 2009

While both the UAP Mentorship Residency and Alice at Edward projects continue to move forward at a cracking pace, last Thursday I ventured out to Artisan to the opening of their trilogy of exhibitions including Deidree Feaney’s Double Bill, Artisan’s Christmas Store Cherish and The Wallpaper Project.

The Wallpaper Project blends contemporary art and interior design and is the result of a partnership between The University of Southern Queensland and Wilding Wallpaper Design & Production. A touring exhibition of art wallpapers curated by Simon Mee and William Wilding, it features the work of Rob MacHaffie, Anne Wallace (in collaboration with Aaron Hill), Lisa Radford, Simon Mee, Tiffany Shafran, Sadie Chandler and Megan Keating.

I find the display of wallpaper and textiles both interesting and challenging. There is a strong focus in the commercial sector on showing products in situ, reflecting their installation in intended environments/s. There are a few companies that push the envelope when it comes to displaying their products. They aim to give a sense of the product, leaving us to seek our own interpretations of their relationship within space. The exhibition design for The Wallpaper Project sees the wallpaper adhered to both sides of suspended boards, like floating artworks or partitions, creating a maze-like effect where the viewer needs to navigate between them and is consciously denied the ability to ‘take them all in’ in one glance. Likewise, the repeat pattern is laid out across the two-dimensional plane to be read (as it should), however, the materiality is unable to be explored, restricting the work to s traditional pictorial plane.

Co-curator, Simon Mee and exhibitor, Anne Wallace, will be hosting an Artist’s Talk about wallpaper, art and design as well as discussing the origins of the product, the rationale for the selection of the artists and the challenging process of getting contemporary art wallpapers into production. For more details, visit Artisan’s website.

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