1 - 25 June
View the full range of Jess' embroidered works here.
“I use my work to explore societal ideas of what it means to be a woman: from governments trying to restrict and legislate what women do with their bodies, to society judging women for both having and not having ovaries,” says artist Jess de Wahls.
“Traditionally ovaries are such an integral part of being a woman, and yet there are many other ways of being a woman, from being a transgender woman to having had reproductive organs removed surgically to just being born in a body that doesn’t conform to any gender.”
Coming all the way from London for her Australian debut and a series of workshops at Platform, Jess de Wahls is known as the ‘enfant terrible of British textile arts’ for her boundary-pushing, provocative artworks.
Learn from Jess in these intensive, small class size contemporary embroidery workshops:
The exhibition Big Swinging Ovaries will feature Wahls’ signature embroideries, where her ovary motif is stylised into various maximalist patterns, including ovaries as cacti, rainbows, and Frida Kahlo (Kahlovaries).
“Since I first developed it for a solo exhibition in 2014, the Big Swinging Ovaries name and design has very much become a brand and a visual tool for expressing many of my creative, political and social thoughts as a woman, a feminist and a textile artist,” says Jess.
“What matters to me is that people make up their own mind and interpret my art for themselves, no matter what I intended. What matters is whether or not the work speaks to you.”
Platform is hosting two incredible feminist embroidery workshops with Jess, alongside her exhibition. You can choose from creating your own Big Swinging Ovaries or a Vagestic Mandala, all the while taking your craftivism to new heights.
You don't need to be a seasoned stitcher to take part in the workshops. What's absolutely needed is an open mind to a contemporary approach to an old craft, and a little patience since embroidery is a time-intensive art form. All materials and lunch are provided – you can book on the Platform Gallery website.
Join us for the opening of Big Swinging Ovaries on Friday June 1, and for the workshops on 2nd and 3rd June.