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Amanda Chamsay's festival picks

Amanda Chamsay (she/her) is an arts facilitator from the Philippines, currently based in Naarm/Melbourne. Passionate about fostering community-oriented creative ecologies, her experience in gallery administration and project management promotes collaborative and sustainable arts initiatives. Amanda has experience working across commercial galleries and public creative institutions around Manila and Naarm/Melbourne, completing internships at Craft Victoria and Monash University Museum of Art. She holds a Master of Arts and Cultural Management from the University of Melbourne and a Bachelor of Arts in Art History and Media Communications, for which she was awarded the 2021 NGV Art History Prize.

Amanda's festival highlights

Occupying Space
Craft Curated / Georgie Brunmayr, Sonja Carmichael, Elisa Jane 'Leecee' Carmichael, Rebecca Diele and Nadia Hernández
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Curated by Craft Victoria, Occupying Space brings together the talents of five exceptional textile artists, inviting viewers into a boundless exploration of fibre and thread. This exhibition is an unmissable event that explores contemporary textile creation from a dynamic range of voices and perspectives. It is a testament to the transformative potential of textiles, a material which has occupied our world within domestic spaces, across political expressions, and historical traditions. The works presented in Occupying Space, as the name suggests, take up space and present to viewers a bold and rich tapestry of material practice that cannot be ignored.

Of Earth and Ether (Flowers never bend)
Presented by Bundoora Homestead Arts Centre & Louise Meuwissen
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One look at Louise Meuwissen’s work and you’re completely taken away by the extraordinary decoration that adorns her sculptural pieces. Not only does her work astound viewers with its incredible detail, but in its intricacy and labour, it tells us layered stories spoken through a connection with materials. In Of Earth and Ether, Meuwissen showcases a series of work embodying transience and permanence, themes which invite us to consider temporality in life, nature, and memory. This exhibition includes new pieces with floral motifs that Meuwissen has teased she has been playing around with in the studio for the last year, making this exhibit an exciting look into the artist’s latest creative inspiration.

In Praise of Shadows: A Celebration of Light and Darkness in Contemporary Craft
Presented by Ma House
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Known for its eclectic collection of unique homewares, furniture and art, Ma House is a must-see destination in Collingwood to enter with curiosity and leave with inspiration. Everything you see in Ma House feels thoughtfully curated by someone with a keen eye for special objects, yet the space also welcomes a sense of wonder from anyone who walks around, finds something they’ve never seen before, and thinks “oh this is really cool”. This warm invitation into breathtaking design and creativity is what Ma House brings to us in their exhibition In Praise of Shadows. Showcasing works by contemporary Melbourne makers from a variety of disciplines, this exhibition celebrates the beauty found in both illumination and obscurity.

Mystical Spherical Galactical Spectacle
Presented by Rose Chong Costumiers & Darren Healey
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The iconic Fitzroy costumier is back with another eye-catching window display– this time, featuring an installation by sculpture and video artist Darren Healey. Healey’s sci-fi-inspired ‘dformed’ sculptures feel like they have a life of their own, like an object of chaos ready to explode. But despite these feelings of bubbling tensions, these sculptures are addicting to look at. Bright and glittery, disfigured and whole, these cosmos-coloured scenes absorb viewers into a different world. With Healey’s installation set in the illustrious world of imagination that is Rose Chong Costumiers, this collaboration between art and fashion at the heart of Fitzroy's cultural scene is a mesmerizing must-see.

In her own words: The ceramics of Janet Beckhouse
Presented by RMIT Gallery and curated by Helen Rayment
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In her own words celebrates the work and legacy of ceramic artist Janet Beckhouse (1955-2020). Beckhouse's profound command of clay is vividly expressed through her intricate and thought-provoking creations, which brim with iconography and mythological motifs that explore the essence of life and death. Each piece tells a narrative, challenging viewers with a touch of unease and a dash of disturbance. Presented by RMIT Gallery, this exhibition goes beyond the artworks themselves, allowing visitors to intimately connect with Beckhouse's creative process by sharing entries and drawings from her journals. This exhibition is a unique opportunity to delve into the legacy of an extraordinary artist and experience the world through her eyes and in her own words.