Flash Back....The Endless Garment: The New Craft of Machine Knitting, RMIT, Melbourne

Friday, August 26, 2011

Our clothing is a protective shield, but machine crafted knitwear is like a second skin. With the Winter still in fine form here in Melbourne I thought it was time for something different, time to review a costume exhibition.

Above are drawings I made from the exciting RMIT Gallery exhibition The Endless Garment. I made these drawings back in 2010, while the show was still on display at the university. But it was high summer then, and far to hot to speak of woollen coverings.

Highlighting the works of Issey Miyake, Sandra Backlund, Walter Van Beirendonck, Cooperative Designs, Mark Fast, Yoshiki Hishinuma, Saverio Palatella, Freddie Robins, Sibling and Nikki Gabriel, the exhibition wove the history of digitial fabric production with a bizaare collection of garments. Whimsical masks, hoods, capes and caftans spoke of all the fantastical potential of humble wool.

Beirendonck's sweaters seemed to morph on the body like mutant creaters, seeing a winter beanie grow into a full size burka. Sandra Backlund's too formed black alien prosthetics around the body. Saverio Palatella's cape-like gown glowed with fine detail through the digital weave, while Nikki Gabriel's beautiful earthy pieces seemed to fall apart to reveal the lacy qualities of the fabric.