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May 2, 2018

Art and craft with ACE Open

ACE Open is running a roster of workshops hosted by Australian artists, including local artist and weaver of unconventional materials, Carly Snoswell.

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  • Words: Sharmonie Cockayne
  • Pictures: Supplied courtesy of Carly Snoswell

Four esteemed Australian artists will host classes during ACE Open’s inaugural workshop season, among whom is local tapestry artist, Carly Snoswell.

The only local to fit the bill, Carly will be hosting Weaving with Unconventional Materials.


Weaving with Unconventional Materials will run on Sunday, 1 July from 11:30am until 4pm.

To read more on ACE Open’s other workshops, see here.

Ace open is located at the Lion Arts Centre on North Terrace.

Her appointment is telling of her talent – the other three classes will be hosted by four-time Archibald Prize nominee, acrylic painter Abdul Abdullah; currently-featured Adelaide Biennial artist, printmaker Emily Floyd (assisted by Tooth and Nail founder, Jake Holmes); and 2017 Ramsay Prize people’s choice award winner, oil painter Julie Fragar.

Carly says that her involvement came naturally after working on ACE’s recent exhibition Waqt al-tagheer: Time of change, with artist Abdullah M.I. Syed.

“He’s organised this kind of craft assistant workshop project with him where myself and a few of the women from the Hand Spinners and Weavers Guild assisted him in creating some works out of US currency,” she says.

“I was doing some embroidery on the notes and some of the other women were weaving – we were doing different things to assist him in the creation of artworks for the show that is still on at ACE Open. Through doing that, Vivian [Cooper, ACE Open’s public programs coordinator] contacted me about doing this workshop program.”

Teaching is not something out of her comfort zone either, having run a program for children aged 5 to 12 through Carclew called Pom Pom.

“I’m really interested in the exchange of knowledge of skills,” says Carly. “I think unless we engage with each other and teach these skills in a hands-on way, we risk a lot of it being lost.”

“And that’s the traditional method of handing skills down through the generations of family members doing it and learning through practice. I think especially in this new digital age [where] everybody can learn anything on YouTube, that the importance of sharing as a message has been lost with it.”

Carly has done many residencies in Australia and overseas, where she observes and works with artists she calls master weavers.

“In India we learned embroidery techniques from people who have been doing it for years and years. And then even at the tapestry workshop in Melbourne and observing these master weavers who have been working as weavers for like 30 years.”

Now, she’s passing that knowledge on. But not without adding her personal flair.

“A lot of my practice involves weaving with textiles in unconventional ways, like working with whatever I have on hand,” she says, which makes her practice and the ACE Open workshop all the more accessible.

“It can be accessible for anyone and you can do it at home. It’s something you can pursue.”

“At the workshop we’ll be using very basic materials and equipment. We’ll be trying to think a bit more creatively about the materials.”

And so, Carly has created her own niche that builds upon Adelaide’s supportive mindset – an arts community that shares.

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