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2017 FEAST | Christmas at The Johnston Collection

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Monday 2 October 2017 – Wednesday 31 January 2018

The creative spirits of Christmases past come to life again in FEAST | Christmas at The Johnston Collection an exhibition showing selected works from over the last five years of Christmas exhibitions along with a smattering of new works in a spectacular rearrangement that is a feast not only for the eyes but for all the senses.

FEAST | Christmas at The Johnston Collection 2017 – 2018 features bold, beautiful and brilliantly diverse works from artists, guilds and collectives from the Mornington Peninsula (2013-2014), Geelong and the Surf Coast (2014-2015), Gippsland (2015-2016) and Melbourne city (2016-2017) along with new works contributed by Dorothy Morgan and Penny Wolswinkel.

This popular series which commenced in 2004, commissions makers from a different region in Victoria each year to create new works drawn from aspects of the Collection or relating to the life of William Robert Johnston (1911-1986).
The commissioned work is displayed against the back-drop of William Johnston’s extraordinary collection of Regency, Georgian and Louis XV furniture, paintings, ceramics and objet d’art arranged in a domestic setting. William Johnston (1911 – 1986) was a prominent 20th century antique dealer and collector who bequeathed his former residence, Fairhall, and collection to the people of Victoria.

The work of ceramicists, weavers, spinners, yarners, patchworkers, embroiderers, lacemakers, quilters, cake decorators, glassworkers, beaders, and a host of other crafts are all on display in FEAST.

The exhibition includes:
- the whimsical works of paper artist Sai-Wai Foo along with ceramicist Irianna Kannellopoulou’s intriguing animal-themed figures featured in The Study.

- the Melbourne Tapestry Weavers Collective return with their vibrant and innovative contemporary tapestry works weaving stories about William Johnston’s life, displayed throughout the rooms of Fairhall.

- mixed-media artists The Bond Family present their exotic Indian-themed works in The Yellow Room and delicate Japanese-inspired work in The Dressing Room.

- an abundance of fabulous fabric veggies by multi-media artist Robyn Rich features in The Kitchen.

- The Green Drawing Room shows a feast of embroidery, beads and baubles. The exquisite threads of the Embroiderers Guild (Victoria)’s Mornington Peninsula and Leongatha Country Group branches are displayed along with the jewel-like decorations made by the Bead Society of Victoria and The Beaders Guild of Geelong, whose ornaments, created using many thousands of beads all meticulously stitched by hand , each took up to 30 – 40 hours to make.

- the Bbaandit Yarners have taken over the front of Fairhall with their colourful art while the GLAD Rappers have yarn stormed The Sitting Room upstairs.

- textile and paper maker Dorothy Morgan has created a series of new works reflecting on the themes of peace and hospitality for FEAST which are displayed as one installation in The White Room and The Blue Room.

Christmas at The Johnston Collection celebrates the possibilities of using particular crafts and skills in different ways by encouraging the makers to explore new contemporary practices and ideas. The result is a stunning and stimulating exhibition of contemporary craft viewed against the background of William Johnston’s historic collection.

Louis Le Vaillant, Director | Curator of The Johnston Collection, said: “The works in FEAST demonstrate the depth, breadth and ingenuity found in contemporary craft practice in Victoria. This exhibition showcases the extraordinary talents and the diverse approaches of our local makers who work across a whole range of media. FEAST shows craft as it is practiced today, reflecting and engaging with the world we live in.”

For further information, images or interviews, please contact:
Felicity Cook or Fil Natarelli | T: 03 9416 2515 
E: | W:


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