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An exhibition featuring emerging international fashion designers opened at the National Wool Museum today.
The Art of Wool touring exhibition comes to Geelong direct from the New England Regional Art Museum, NSW, and runs until 19 November.
The exhibition’s artworks depict all aspects of the wool industry from prized sheep and shearing sheds to farm work and hand-knitting.
It features an extensive collection of Australian art including paintings by Sydney Long, Thomas Cooper, Blamire Young and Emily Kame Kngwarreye.
Each artwork emphasises the role of wool in the artistic and design imagination of Australia from the 19th century until the present day, museum director Padraic Fisher said.
“Sheep and wool have provided inspiration to generations of Australian artists.”
“The pairing of garments with wool-inspired artwork creates a visual dialogue between art and fashion, a fusion that enhances both garments and artworks in unique and unexpected ways.”
The exhibition also highlights the wool’s fashion properties with avant-garde fashion garments from the International Woolmark Prize archive at The Woolmark Company.
The garments include the work of 2013/’14 International Woolmark Prize winner Rahul Mishra and emerging Australian designers Alistair Trung, Christopher Esber, Dion Lee, Ellery, Magdalena Velevska and Strateus Carlucci.
“The National Wool Museum is very fortunate to be working with The Woolmark Company in presenting this exhibition in the Geelong region,” Fisher said.
“The company’s gorgeous International Woolmark Prize garments present new relationships between art and fashion design that add to an understanding of the place of wool in the artistic imagination.”
An illustrated catalogue will provide further insights for exhibition visitors into the the garments and artworks.
It includes essays by fashion historian Associate Professor Margaret Maynard, artist and academic Adam Geczy and art historian Christine France OAM.
The Art of Wool exhibition is supported by the Australian Government through the Department of Communications and the Arts’ Visions of Australia program.
The National Wool Museum officially launched the festival on Thursday night.

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