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New Exuberance: Contemporary Australian Textile Design

30 Nov 2024 –
25 Jan 2025

JamFactory is based in Adelaide and is nationally and internationally recognised for supporting and presenting exhibitions that celebrate and interrogate design in all its many forms. JamFactory’s most recent touring exhibition New Exuberance – Contemporary Australian Textile Design has been curated by Meryl Ryan and brings together contemporary design, art, and fashion through textiles. 

Textile design today is a vibrant boundary-blurring creative field. By its very nature, it cross-pollinates. Moving through disciplines that include graphic, furniture and product design, fashion and the visual arts, it manifests as surface patterning, material experimentation and transfiguration, storytelling and conceptual ideas. 

Conceived before the COVID pandemic, and partially developed during the upheaval years of intermittent lockdowns, the exhibition is a tonic. Prior to the experiences of the pandemic, the concept of exuberance might have been more carefree, but today there is a new kind of exuberance that is manifest in championing hope and healthy pathways into the future.

Through contemporary Australian textile design practices, the exhibition honours the tenacity and care that Australia’s resilient makers and creators continue to expend to enlighten, inspire and entertain us. It is positive, eclectic, and relevant. It brings notions of tolerance, collaboration, ethics, and sustainability to the fore in an unapologetic blaze of colour, energy, joy and invention.

Despite the hardships of recent years, Australian textile-based practices are flourishing. Makers are finding renewed confidence in community-driven interest, co-creation, and inclusivity. Collaborations in the fashion industry are increasing, forged by creatives such as Romance Was Born, lordanes Spyridon Gogos, Grace Lillian Lee and initiatives such as First Nations Fashion + Design. 

The skyrocketing visibility within First Nations practices is partly due to the passionate vision of new enterprises and reinforced by the meaningful and covetable textile designs being produced by artists in the Top End and remote art centres and collectives. In line with these developments and urgent sustainability concerns, the artisanal ethos is gaining agency. 

New Exuberance celebrates the work of more than 30 textile creatives and includes 10 commissioned furniture pieces produced by designers associated with JamFactory. Together they present the rich diversity of textile-based practices in contemporary art, design and fashion in Australia today.

Nixi Killick is an independent fashion designer working in contemporary streetwear. Worn by the likes of Lady Gaga, Sia and Kimbra, Killick’s vibrant, psychedelic and futuristic digital prints are derived from her original watercolour paintings, inspired by her background in circus, performance and the arts. 

Killick’s independent Melbourne-based fashion label NKX presents wearable creations that mix edgy and sculptured techno-induced wearables to draw parallels between the possible and impossible. Killick’s Cryptic Frequency Augmented Reality Activated Biker Jacket, Biker Skirt and Leotard demonstrate her ability to embrace creative escapism while indulging in the bizarre. As she explains, ‘If it’s not in the future it doesn’t exist.’

Designers featured in the exhibition:

Bábbarra Women’s Centre
Frida Las Vegas
Grace Lillian Lee
Hannah Gartside
Ikuntji Artists
Iordanes Spyridon Gogos
Jemima Wyman
Kate Just
Lisa Waup X Verner Nina Walton
Nixi Killick
Paul Mccann
Romance Was Born
The Social Studio X Among Atem X Romance Was Born
Tiwi Design
Vita Cochran
Wah-Wah Australia.

New Exuberance: contemporary Australian textile design is a JamFactory touring exhibition supported by the Visions of Australia touring program, an Australian Government program aiming to improve access to cultural material for all Australians.



Selected works



Cryptic Frequency Augmented Reality Activated Biker Jacket and Biker Skirt  2019
scuba knit;
Cryptic Frequency Augmented Reality Activated Leotard  2022
polyester spandex
Courtesy of Nixi Killick
Photo Emily-Rose Hyde-Page

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