The ‘Floating Forest’ comes to Ararat

Douglas Fuchs ‘Floating Forest’ 17 February – 1 April 2012

Ararat Regional Gallery are reconstructing an exhibition that played a key role in the development of fibre art in Australia.

Douglas Fuchs (1947-86) was an American basket maker who came to Australia on a Craft Council of Australia Fellowship in 1981-82. He arrived in Adelaide in July 1981 and set up a studio at The Jam Factory, Adelaide, where he began work on his ambitious ‘Floating Forest’. Douglas exhibited three versions of ‘Floating Forest’: at the Adelaide Festival Centre Gallery from 27 November to 24 December 1981, the Meat Market Craft Centre, Melbourne from 26 January to 28 February 1982 and the Crafts Councils Centre Gallery, Sydney from 1 to 23 May 1982.

‘Floating Forest’ is widely cited as a landmark in the development of a contemporary approach to basketry in Australia (see link and brochure). 


Ararat Performing Arts Centre, Saturday 31 March 2012, 9.30am to 4pm
Hear from key influences and experts in the fibre art field and be inspired by artists whose contemporary practices are informed by basketry techniques and traditions. The symposium supports Ararat Regional Art Gallery’s 30th anniversary exhibition of Douglas Fuchs’ influential basketry-based installation, ‘Floating Forest’,  presented from 17 February to 1 April 2012, in partnership with the Powerhouse Museum , Sydney.

Key speakers include:

  • Christina Sumner, Principal Curator Design and Society at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney;
  • Leading contemporary basketmaker, Virginia Kaiser;
  • Antoinette Smith, Senior Curator, Indigenous Cultures of Southeastern Australia at Museum Victoria. 
  • Five indigenous and non-indigenous fibre artists speak about the role of tradition and technique in the creation of contemporary woven forms: Marilyne Nicholls, Bronwyn Razem, Adrienne Kneebone, Maree Brown and Lucy Irvine.

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