Robert Brain and Kate Just

Needleman, Feminist Fan

1 March28 April 2018

Chapter House Lane is pleased to continue in a tradition of group shows that pair artists exploring traditional forms of making in new and challenging ways.

The artworks by Robert Brain and Kate Just included in Needleman, Feminist Fan engage subjectively with historically loaded art making techniques and gender politics; conveying the autobiography of the artists, who use thread in a way that transcends the material qualities of the craft through significant performative gestures.

Robert Brain’s tapestries comprise a range of influences that comment on his personal experiences, dreams and desires. His tapestries are built up gradually, using an embroidery running stitch on canvas, and seek to bring the medium into a contemporary context. By borrowing from art history and informed by gender politics, Brain creates works layered with humour and unexpected juxtapositions.

Similarly, the hand knitted works of Kate Just present a selection of portraits of celebrated feminist artists in a laboured act of devotion and self-portraiture. The series title, Feminist Fan, emphasises Just’s reverence of each of these artists and to feminism, furthered by an accompanying fan letter shared via social media with the hashtag #feministfan to confront and transform established notions of gender representation.

Curated by Chapter House Lane Director, Louise Klerks, Needleman, Feminist Fan brings together two artists from very different backgrounds and experiences to create new relationships between hand embroidered and knitted works. Join the curator and exhibiting artists in conversation on Thursday 1 March from 5:30-6:00pm at Chapter House Lane, followed by opening drinks from 6:00-8:00pm.

About the artists:

Robert Brain (born 1933) lives and works in the Blue Mountains, New South Wales. Brain’s recent solo exhibitions include Tapestry (2017) at Maunsell Wickes, Sydney; Robert Brain: An Autobiographical Tapestry (2016), a Bathurst Regional Art Gallery touring exhibition held at Bathurst Regional Art Gallery and Maitland Regional Art Gallery, 2016. In 2017-18, Brain was a finalist in the National Self-Portrait Prize 2017 at UQ Art Museum, Queensland. He is currently represented by Maunsell Wickes Gallery, Sydney.

Kate Just (born 1974) is an established American born, Melbourne based artist known for her knitted sculptural, and pictorial work, as well as installation based, public and participatory art projects often deploying text, textiles, clothing, knitting and neon. Just holds a Doctor of Philosophy (Sculpture) from Monash University, a Master of Arts from RMIT and a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Painting) from the Victorian College of the Arts where she has been a Lecturer in Art since 2005. She has exhibited extensively, both locally and internationally, including at ACCA, A.I.R. Gallery and AC Institute in New York, Gertrude Contemporary and National Gallery of Australia. See more from Kate Just on her website.