Focus day: Weaving histories

From ‘The lady and the unicorn’ to contemporary tapestry


Join the Art Gallery of New South Wales for an in-depth discussion of the art of tapestry, marking the occasion of the first exhibition of The lady and the unicorn tapestries in Australia.

The day opens with an exclusive viewing of the exhibition, followed by the keynote address from US tapestry historian and specialist in Northern European art of the Middle Ages, Laura Weigert. In the afternoon, three leading tapestry artists—Cresside Collette (Australia), Annika Ekdahl (Sweden) and Valerie Kirk (Australia)—present short talks about their work, followed by a panel discussion led by exhibition curator Jackie Dunn.

Exploring new thinking about the status and nature of textile art, this event will address the cultural and historical context of medieval European tapestry – with a focus on The lady and the unicorn – and the traditions and techniques that continue to inform the medium in practice today.

Supported by the Power Institute for Art and Visual Culture and the Australian Design Centre.

Tickets available here.



Please register at the exhibition entry on arrival

Exhibition viewing and morning tea. You may enter the exhibition at any time between 10 and 11am, and morning tea is available in the adjacent function space throughout the hour. Exhibition entry is included with your ticket to the focus day.

Keynote lecture with Laura Weigert (professor of art history, Rutgers University), followed by a Q&A moderated by curator Jackie Dunn.

Lunch (included)

Presentations and panel discussion with Annika Ekdahl (Stockholm-based tapestry weaver), Valerie Kirk (former head of textiles, School of Art, Australian National University) and Cresside Collette (Melbourne-based tapestry weaver).