The hidden art exhibition that is all about connection

Craft ACT’s exhibition A Common Thread offers calm and connection in a time of uncertainty.

Looking for some local art, culture, and food for thought? Canberra’s Craft ACT has you covered.

Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre is a hidden gem – so hidden, in fact, that it can be rather hard to find. Squirreled away in London Circuit’s North Building, it houses a non-profit gallery as well as a shop featuring homewares, jewellery, furniture, and art created by local artisans. It regularly creates new exhibitions and, as an organisation, is always looking for ways to support local and emerging artists.

In these present times of social distancing, it may be a while yet before everyone feels comfortable looking for the Craft ACT shop and gallery, wandering up the unassuming staircase to the premises while narrowly avoiding speaking to the rather lifelike statue in the lobby. However, it is still possible to enjoy what the place has to offer, such as through Craft ACT’s current exhibition A Common Thread, which is available online.

A Common Thread is a multidisciplinary exhibition featuring textile painting, ceramic sculpture, and installation art. While the pieces in the exhibition vary, they are connected by the repetitive, tactile forms of making that underpin clay sculpting and the process of textile weaving and layering.

All works in the exhibition have been created by two emerging makers: ceramic artist Sam Gold, who is based in Adelaide, and Canberra’s own Harriet McKay, a textile artist.

Both artists agree their works have a lot in common.

“We work in different mediums, however, the concepts underpinning our pursuit for making work crosses over,” explains Gold. Indeed, both artists are deeply interested in how materials can connect us to stories, histories, and to one another. “A common thread runs deep through our practices.”

In looking at these artworks, so slowly and carefully created, one becomes aware of the reflective mindset and therapeutic motions that go into creative practice. Making art can mean sculpting a memory or weaving a story, and it helps us connect with others.

A Common Thread carves out a secluded space in uncertain times. It is worth unearthing.

Written by Rosalind Moran

What: A Common Thread exhibition by emerging makers Sam Gold and Harriet McKay
When: 14 May – 27 June 2020
Where: Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre and online
Further information:

Images list: 
Cover image: Sam Gold, Stillness (Votive vessels series), 2020, cobalt hand dyed oxide fine light, 134 x 200mm. Photo: Sam Roberts
Top image: A Common Thread, installation view at Craft ACT. Photo: 5 Foot Photography
Middle image: Harriet Mckay, Sleepwalker, 2020, ink and felt on canvas, 150 x 150 cm. Photo: Courtesy of the artist
Bottom image: Sam Gold, Stillness (Votive vessels series), 2020, Porcelain Limoges (gold on glaze), Cobalt hand dyed oxide fine metallic and medium. Photo: Sam Roberts