Mardi Nowak is a Melbourne based artist and curator and is currently the Director of the
National Exhibitions Touring Support (NETS Victoria).
After completing a Masters of Fine Art by Research in 2004, she has exhibited in several group exhibitions in Australia and overseas. Her recent achievements include participating in the 4th Istanbul Design Biennial in 2018, solo exhibition Conceal/Reveal in Melbourne 2018/19, participating in a cross-cultural exchange between Edinburgh and Melbourne in 2017 and presenting at West Dean Collage at the Tapestry Symposium in 2017.
Working mostly in woven tapestry her inspiration comes from fashion magazines, torn advertising billboards and the everyday. Interested in depictions of women in the modern world, Mardi interrogates ideas of how we present our self in a time of social media, photo manipulation and other external pressures.
Her ongoing series of works draw from physical collages which are in turn, woven to become one layer. Most recently, Mardi has been exploring combining tapestry with other textile collage elements, taking the small paper collages into a larger textile wall piece.
Notions of time play a factor in her work. There is a disjunction between the disposable and fast flow of images in contemporary mass media against the deliberation and slowness of a woven construction. A fashionable dress produced in a tapestry may be out of fashion by the time a tapestry is completed.
“The technical details of the woven tapestries are very traditional. It is a skill that is continually improved upon with the creation of every new tapestry as images are translated from glossy photographic paper to solid woven textile form. It is the challenge of turning the contemporary and disposable images of fashion magazines into a craft form that has been recognised for centuries that keeps me excited about the medium.”
2003 Masters Fine Art (Research) Monash University
1999 BFA Honours, Monash University
1998 BFA Tapestry, Monash University
SELECTED RECENT SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2018 Conceal / Reveal, Fitzroy Library, City of Yarra, Australia
2013 Sampler, Handheld Gallery, Melbourne, Australia
2011 Piecework (with Adrian Conti), Tacit Contemporary Art, Abbotsford, Australia
SELECTED RECENT GROUP EXHIBITIONS
Wangaratta Contemporary Textile Award, (shortlisted artist), Wangaratta Art Gallery, Australia
Google Weaving Stop-time, Atelier Luma, Arles, France
Google Weaving Stop-time, Z33, Hasselt, Belgium
Google Weaving Stop-time, 4th Istanbul Design Biennial, Salt Galata, Istanbul Turkey
Return Flight EDI>MEL, Numbershop Gallery, Edinburgh, UK
Return Flight MEL>EDI, Federation Square Atrium, Melbourne, AU
AWARDS & RESIDENCIES
2019 Finalist, Wangaratta Contemporary Textile Award
2019 Residency Sofia, Bulgaria
2018 City of Boroondara Creative Grant
2007 Finalist for Off the Wall, Melbourne 2007
2003 Monash University Travel Grant for Research in New York
2002 Monash Faculty of Art & Design, Masters Research Scholarship