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The Ladies’ Auxiliary

The Ladies’ Auxiliary

Place and Time
Newtown Community Centre
March 4-5 2006
12-5 daily
Entry by Koha

Many things disappeared along with the annual A&P Show. The urban man can no longer split a log in 16 seconds or change a tractor tyre in 35. The average city kid can’t tell their Poll Dorset from their Corriedale (those would be sheep). And the lady folk have lost the domestic skills that once got them so far in the how-to-snare-a-husband department.

The Ladies’ Auxiliary wants to bring back the domestic wizardry of the A&P show. Because, after all, how else to judge true femininity than by the quality of a lady’s crocheted toilet roll holders and the detail on her cupcakes?

Crafty ladies can enter our four categories – ‘Ladies a Plate’, ‘The Icing on the Cake’, ‘A Little Prick is Better Than Nothing’ and ‘Elegantly Pickled’ – finger food, cake decorating, needlework and preserves.

Held in a traditional community hall, the space is authentic – the ribbons and rosettes are ready to be awarded, the entries laid out on trestle tables. Visitors will be unsure whether they are looking at a legitimate domestic competition or an art installation.

Participants will approach the concept from an art rather than a craft perspective. We will be playing with perceptions of domestic craft, challenging our own expectations about the skills involved, and creating an exhibition that both celebrates and subverts the traditional feminine skills.

Participating artists will be challenging their usual arts practice, using traditionally domestic (and therefore considered ‘craft’ rather than art) artforms to create contemporary messages.


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