Lost Arts of the 1970s

Lost Arts of the 1970s was a multimedia installation by Tracy Sorensen, Karen Golland, and Michelle Stockwell exhibited at the Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Feb 1 – March 30, 2008.

The exhibition was an exploration of crafts practiced in Australian homes in the 1970s. Crochet, macrame, copper art, Hobbytex: some are now forgotten, some are reviled and some are being revived. The exhibition included video installation work by Tracy Sorensen, visual art objects by Karen Golland and a soundscape by Michelle Stockwell. The exhibition explored the tension between the ephemeral and banal nature of the objects created and the weight of nostalgia and loss now evoked by them. It celebrated a world of creativity and absorption practiced by millions of (mainly) women and children in the home, a world well beneath the surface of the dominant narrative of the 1970s. It also explored tensions between art and craft by exploring what happens when people people follow craft instructions – Hobbytex paint-by-numbers projects, for example. The exhibition drew parallels between the processes of “high” and “low” arts, especially in works requiring a lot of repetition or great fiddliness.

http://www.pbase.com/dunnart/lost_arts_of_the_1970s (Photos of the exhibition launch on February 1, 2008.)

Listen to Michelle Stockwell’s immersive soundscape created for the exhibition.


http://lostartsofthe1970s.blogspot.com (Blog relating to the exhibition.)

http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2008/02/06/2154817.htm (Coverage of the exhibition by local ABC radio)

www.hobbytex.com.au (The official Hobbytex site.)

http://americanhistory.si.edu/paint/picturePlace.html (The Smithsonian Institute’s exploration of Paint By Numbers.)