The table was laden with a meticulously presented smorgasbord of meats, platters and desserts. The record player was at the ready, and the clock struck three; it was the ‘Cocktail Hour’. Well… at least in one imaginative installation, dreamed up (and carefully crocheted over hundreds of hours!!) by Victorian artist Trevor Smith.
The industrious maker’s largest scale exhibition to date serves up 45 technically astounding works, curated on a heart-warming, ‘retro-domestic theme’ with a humorous edge. Drawing from the simpler days of the 50s, 60s and 70s, the Portland-based artist typically creates his sculptures after his day working at the local shire council, while watching 1970s Australian films and series. ‘I have always been interested in nostalgia, stories, moments in time, people in the news,’ he begins. ‘These works have been influenced by childhood, family life and by images from childhood – what was on TV or in magazines. The food sculptures are a throwback to the advertisements in women’s magazines and the brightly coloured images in old cookbooks.’
Trevor picked up crochet early on, and has spent decades perfecting and experimenting with its virtually limit-less applications. ‘My mother was a talented craftswoman and I was always shadowing her, wanting to be doing what she was doing,’ recalls the maker, whose first projects were dolls clothes for younger cousins and baby blankets for family friends. He predominantly uses pure wool and incorporates foam rubber, polystyrene, foamcor and wire to create his base forms.
Quite a creative networker, and not afraid to cover some mileage, Trevor connected with quirky textile artist Kristen Fredericks through mutual friends, and the pair went on to exhibit together at the biennial Nati Frinj in Natimuk in Western Victoria. Trevor had also long been a follower and fan of insta-famous crafter Chilly Philly, and jumped at the opportunity when Kirsten approached Michael Reid Gallery, securing a group show for the trio last year. Trevor’s ‘Cocktail hour’ marks his first solo offering at the same gallery!
You’ve only got a few more days to enjoy Trevor’s whimsical, crochet delights in real life – be sure to pop it in the diary, Darl!
‘Cocktail Hour‘ by Trevor Smith
December 6th to 22nd
Michael Reid Sydney
105 Kippax Street, Surry Hills, Sydney
Trevor Smith, represented by Michael Reid Sydney, will be exhibiting ‘Threads of Thought’ – a group of tea cosie characters telling the story of early Goolwa from the Indigenous to explorers, whalers, early settlers and river boat captains! – at Signal Point Gallery, Goolwa from January to March. Following this his exhibition, ‘The Doll Redefined’ will show at Adelaide’s Gallery 1855, in April and May 2018 – look out for depictions of Queen Victoria, Frida Kahlo, and Edna Everage!