NATIONAL TEXTILE COLLECTION
Tamworth Regional Gallery’s association with textile art dates back to the 1970s. The gallery has focused on developing an Australian textile collection that embraces all related art and craft forms. The nationally significant collection comprises excellent examples of works that document the changes in textile practice over the past 50 years.
The collection includes pieces by some of Australia’s most innovative and acclaimed textile artists, as well as by local craftspeople and regional artists. It has made a significant contribution to the ongoing discourse surrounding contemporary craft practice in Australia, creating an important record of the changing nature and progress of textile practice from a national perspective.
Tamworth Regional Gallery acquired its first textile work in 1973. Initially developed as an annual art prize from 1975, the Tamworth Fibre Textile Biennial showcased the most innovative fibre textile works from the previous two years. This evolved into a curated exhibition, held every three years and recognised nationally as Australia’s pre-eminent textile exhibition. The first Tamworth Textile Triennial was held in 2011 and 2023 marks 50 years of the National Textile Collection.
The Tamworth Textile Triennial, showcases the best of textile art from across the country, attracting artist participation from all states in Australia, wide audiences and critical review. The Triennial assists in developing our textile collection, as many works are purchased for the Tamworth Regional Gallery’s permanent collection.
‘The Tamworth National Fibre Exhibition is fast becoming justifiably central to the development of Australian Textiles, exhibiting works which are at the forefront of the new thinking, eccentric at times but forward looking.’
David Green, Chairman, Crafts Board of The Australia Council, 1984