The Deeper Voice of Textiles project at Newcastle's Timeless Textiles art gallery encourages creative men to celebrate their skills
6 Mar 2017, 5:30 p.m | Newcastle Herald
Let's hear it for the boys: Timeless Textiles' Anne Kempton, centre, with Graham Wilson, left, and Sean McGilvray. Picture: Penelope Green
MEN of certain professions often downplay their creativity but a new project likened to Newcastle’s version of Sculptures By The Sea aims to bring them out of their collective sheds.
Business folk or interested parties are welcome to attend a barbecue on Tuesday, March 7, at The Creator Incubator in Hamilton North from 5pm to hear more about The Deeper Voice of Textiles Project.
Funded by Newcastle City Council, Regain Services and Timeless Textiles Gallery, the proudly masculine arts project is the brainchild of gallery owner Anne Kempton.
Ms Kempton was inspired by He'll Be Ok: Growing Gorgeous Boys Into Good Men by Kiwi author Celia Lashlie, whose book examines the idea that men have been silenced by women.
“I found that was shocking but I thought there was truth in it, because as young feminists in the 70s and 80s, women wanted men to solve problems and communicate how they did...but I think the result was that it silenced them," says Ms Kempton.
Noting she’d only had two male fibre artists exhibited in her textiles gallery, she created The Deeper Voices of Textiles Project: inviting Newcastle businesses who predominantly employ men to create work that celebrates the skills of their trade.
Those involved in the project will participate in workshops with international artist Tim Johnson and respected local artist and stone carver Graham Wilson.
The resulting artwork will be in a three-day exhibition in Newcastle in April before being displayed in the businesses of their creators.
Sean McGilvray, founder of Contain Yourself Australia, which specialises in converting shipping containers into tiny houses, said he knew scores of tradesmen who were “super creative” in their day jobs but dismissed talk that they were arty types.
“There are lots of men in sheds, but they are terrible at self-promotion,” he said.
McGilvray, whose contribution to the project is steel sunflowers made from deconstructed gas bottles, said he was taking part to network with other makers.
“Newcastle has the biggest creative population per capita in Australia...but we need to talk to each other more because we can be secular,” he said.
Mr Wilson said the Deeper Voice of Textiles Project was important on many levels for Novocastrians.
“There are always benefits when people interact in a creative way,” he said.
“Bringing together people in a variety of fields and this will lead to increased social interaction, networking, education, and ultimately to innovation.”
Those interested in the project or attending the barbeque can call Ms Kempton on 0408483913.