Jacky Cheng, Honour and Love (2021)
Past Event

Vessel, Cloth And Cloak


Thu 18 May 1:00pm - 5:00pm
Fri 19 May 1:00pm - 5:00pm
Sat 20 May 1:00pm - 5:00pm
Tue 23 May 1:00pm - 5:00pm
Wed 24 May 1:00pm - 5:00pm
Thu 25 May 1:00pm - 5:00pm
Fri 26 May 1:00pm - 5:00pm
Sat 27 May 1:00pm - 5:00pm


Free, no booking required


Australian Tapestry Workshop
262-266 Park St, 262-266 Park St, South Melbourne VIC 3205, Australia


Accessible bathroom Assistance animals welcome Low sensory / relaxed Seating available Wheelchair accessible

Vessel Cloth and Cloak features artists and designers creating functional textiles as vessels of culture, stories, and identity and explores works that traditionally carry, protect, contain and cover – and reinterprets them in a contemporary design context.

In an intersection of history, aesthetics and function Melbourne fashion designers DNJ Paper utilise washi paper in the form of streetwear. Jacky Cheng presents the form of the traditional Chinese cloak applying handmade and hand dyed paper with sumi ink and kakishibu (persimmon tanin). Florence Jaukue Kamel’s bilums are patterned with cultural typography and mixed media vessels by ceramicist Robyn Phelan are both utilitarian objects and holders of meaning.

Wadawurrung artist Kait James uses razor sharp satire to subversively recreate and re-interpret Aboriginal calendar tea towels that disrupt outdated textile representations of Indigenous people and culture. In a feminist exploration of dress and adornment, couture and culture collide in intricate armour-like wearables by Isabel Avendano Hazbun. The meticulously hand-crafted rope body adornments by Seth Damm (Neon Zinn) are both wearable soft sculpture and designed to celebrate diverse bodies and voices.

Vessel Cloth and Cloak will take place at the Australian Tapestry Workshop and will include workshops and artist talks as part of associated public programming. Refer to www.austapestry.com.au for further details.


Jacky Cheng

Jacky Cheng was born in Malaysia of Chinese heritage, and now resides in Yawuru Country, Broome, WA. Her practice is fundamentally about identity and awareness through cultural activities and memories of home, country, and relationships.

Cheng has been a finalist in multiple art awards including; The National Works on Paper, VIC (2022) 67th Blake Prize, NSW (2022). Cheng completed residencies in Finland (2017, 2018, 2019), Spain (2018), Japan (2019) and Fremantle Art Centre (2021, 2022) to further her practice in working with paper. In 2022, Cheng was awarded the prestigious John Stringer Prize and currently, she is completing stage 2 of SPACED residency in Wooditjup Country, Margaret River for a group exhibition Rural Utopia in late 2023 at the Art Gallery of Western Australia. Her first permanent public art piece was completed in Broome in late 2022.

Cheng is a sessional art lecturer at North Regional TAFE; and an arts worker. Her teaching accolades have been recognised at the Australia Training Awards and she was a finalist for the Curtin University Teaching Excellence Award by Awards Australia.

Kait James

As a proud Wadawurrung woman, Kait’s work explores her identity as an Australian with both Anglo and Indigenous heritage. James’s work questions identity, perception and our knowledge of Australia’s Indigenous communities. Utilising Punch Needling techniques, she embroiders kitsch found materials, such as souvenir tea towels, that reference colonial settlements and histories, and subverts them with Indigenous imagery and familiar references. Using humour and vivid colours, James addresses the way white western culture has dominated Australia’s history, and her personal reflections on her Indigenous heritage.

James holds a Diploma of Visual Art from NMIT, Bachelor of Media Arts/Photography from RMIT University. James won the Emerging Artist Award from Craft Victoria in 2019 and the Lendlease Reconciliation Art Award from the Koorie Heritage Trust in 2019. James’s work is in the collection of the National Gallery of Victoira, Epworth Foundation, Koorie Heritage Trust, and private collections.

Isabel Avendano Hazbun

Isabel Avendano Hazbun is a fine-furniture maker, textile designer and woodworking teacher. Throughout her career, Avendano-Hazbun has been exploring the concept of functional sculpture, where a functional object can also be a form of art.  More recently her textile and timber practices have evolved to explore issues of sustainability, consumerism, gender identity and the human condition.

Avendano-Hazbun holds a Bachelor of Design in Textiles from The University of New South Wales, 2011 and in 2013 Avendano-Hazbun graduated with a Certificate IV in Furniture Design and Technology at The Sturt School for Wood, NSW. While studying fine-furniture Avendano-Hazbun also learnt how to weave with master weaver Kay Faulkner. The intersection of timber and textiles has become the premise of her practice.

Avendano-Hazbun has been involved in numerous group exhibitions over the years and more recently, two solo exhibitions one at Craft Victoria, Melbourne and the other at The Australian Design Centre in Sydney.

Florence Jaukue Kamel

Florence Jaukae Kamel (PNG) is an internationally recognised fibre artist and designer from Papua New Guinea. Kamel is particularly known for her work in the traditional medium of bilum, plant fibres woven into yarn, and then looped or crocheted to make bags or dresses and other garments. Kamel is one of the founders of Jaukae Bilum Products, the managing director of the Goroka Bilum Weavers Cooperative and the founder of Goroka Bilum Festival.

Kamel sits on the forefront of wearable art with her ideas and vision quickly surpassing everyday wear. In 2010, Florence’s bilum work was exhibited in Maketi Ples at the Global Gallery, Paddington Sydney, and in 2016 at the No. 1 Neighbour exhibition, Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane.

Kamel’s annual collections have been acquired by prestigious museums around the world; currently there are over thirty bilum dresses held in nine museum collections globally from the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia National Museum, Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Auckland War Memorial, Wellington Museum, Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver, Smithsonian Museum in New York and many private collections.

DNJ Paper

DNJ Paper is a collaborative research project and micro-label situated in Melbourne, Australia, and is led by designers Daphne Mohajer va Pesaran and Jake Nakashima-Edwards. The project employs a range of techniques, both traditional and non-traditional, to create paper clothing, accessories, and objects. Its creations aim to address contemporary fashion and textiles practices by responding to pressing social, aesthetic, and conceptual questions.DNJ Paper employs handmade recycled rag paper, produced in our studio, as well as handmade Japanese paper, also known as washi. The washi is sourced from small studios located throughout Japan, and each sheet comes with comprehensive information on the conditions of its production.DNJ Paper pieces are considered a work in progress, never fully “finished,” and are designed to evolve over time. The intention is to allow for wear and eventual repair, resulting in pieces that are truly unique and reflect the values of the project.Wherever possible, DNJ Paper reduce, reuse, regenerate, and recycle.

Robyn Phelan

Robyn Phelan is a ceramic artist whose practice comprises of making and writing. Phelan’s work investigates the material potentials of clay and cloth, developing sculptural ceramics in deep correspondence with place and self. Phelan uses a haptic, embodied process in correspondence with clay, found materials, and the site from which she is making. Her sculptural ceramics strongly reference landscape, the body and question social and environmental issues from an Australian perspective.

Phelan has an active exhibition practice and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Art, RMIT University, where she lectures in ceramics. Her working career is in visual arts education, museums, curation, and management. Phelan has been writing about contemporary art, craft, and ceramics for more than two decades and holds a Bachelor of Education, a Postgraduate Diploma of fine Arts (Art Curatorship and Museum Management) University of Melbourne and a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Ceramics) Honors from RMIT University.

Seth Damm/Neon Zinn (USA)

Seth Damm is a full-time artist working in the realm of wearable fiber art, living and working in New Orleans, Louisiana. Cotton rope is his primary medium which he dyes, weaves, winds, cuts, and shapes into abstract sculptural forms that reveal their full dimension on the body. While spending the majority of his time in the studio involved in the meticulous handcrafted production of his designs, he also partners with photographers, clothing designers, models, stylists, and production assistants to create, edit, and share visual content. Under his label Neon Zinn, a reference to civil rights activist/historian Howard Zinn.

Damm graduated from The Evergreen State College in 1994 (B.A.) with an emphasis on printmaking and painting. Eighteen years later it was a length of shipping rope that caught his eye one day while searching for new materials. That rope changed his entire trajectory. Through years of dedicated, self-taught experimentation and refinement, his unique designs continue to draw the attention of customers and collaborators from across the realms of fashion, design, and craft.


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