My favourite of the three exhibitions that Craft Victoria are hosting as part of the State of Design festival is Visible Markings.

In a dimly lit room various pieces of armoury hang with ghostly stillness. However, the breastplates, collars and neckpieces have been constructed out of unexpected materials – knitted wool interspersed with leather, oak, organza and metal. Alana Clifton Cunningham’s exhibition challenges the traditional ‘stand-back and admire’ approach of art exhibitions with a collection of tactile textures which you are encouraged to approach at close range and touch. In fact, on the back wall you are actively urged to feel a row of small frames containing different knitted textures, which reminded me variously of Christmas trees, fishing nets and even female genitalia.

The intricate handmade works reward a slow, careful inspection and you can read more about the process and the artistic inspirations in Craft Victoria’s interview with Alana.

Visible Markings, Craft Victoria, 31 Flinders Ln, Melbourne