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Handmade Universe: From craft to code and the spaces between

Date
24 June 2022, 10:00am26 February 2023, 6:00pm
CostFree
Bookings No bookings required
Location Victoria Gallery
Entry via North Rotunda
Accessibility Has wheelchair access

Explore Handmade Universe online

Not all discoveries are heroic and recorded in books. Some emerge in backyards, lounge rooms and quiet corners, encoded in knitting, embroidery and other creations made by hand.

Handmade Universe: From craft to code and the spaces between is a brand new exhibition that celebrates the rewards of making and the limitless scope it offers for invention and enquiry.

Contemporary artists present newly commissioned works to sit alongside rare and remarkable items from State Library Victoria and other collections. Many of the collection items have never been on public display before and will give visitors a sense of surprise at what you would expect to encounter at a Library. 

Two works of immense scale are at the centre of Handmade Universe: Mandy Nicholson’s striking textile work Dharangalk Biik I Star Country and Sarah Spencer’s epic knitted star map Stargazing.  

Dharangalk Biik I Star Country is displayed on the perimeter walls of the gallery, surrounding visitors in a design that represents her Wurundjeri Creation Narrative. Awe-inspiring in scale, it holds us within a Wurundjeri Universe, sharing knowledge about the importance of the stars and the cosmos in Wurundjeri culture.

Stargazing is a giant knitted star map created by hacking a 1980s domestic knitting-machine to invent the Knitting Network Printer. Measuring three by five metres, Stargazing represents the 88 constellations used in Western astronomy.The map features a new interactive element added especially for Handmade Universe in the form of 842 LED lights. Visitors can light up the stars with the swipe of a finger and learn more about each constellation.

Featuring collection items that have never been on display before and new artworks inspired by the exhibition, Handmade Universe adds knowledge and perspectives to the State Collection which haven’t been well represented in the past.

Families are invited to journey through the exhibition with one of our children's trail booklets - grab one from the North Rotunda entry!

The Handmade Universe book was made possible by the generous support of the Gordon Darling Foundation.