Contributing to the fabric of Australia: ATW director retires

The Australian Tapestry Workshop (ATW) director of 14 years Antonia Syme has notified the board that she will be retiring from her post in April 2023.

Since 1976, the Australian Tapestry Workshop (ATW) has collaborated with artists and architects on the generation of contemporary tapestries. Today, it is one of the few remaining workshops dedicated to hand-waving tapestries worldwide.

Syme was instrumental in the establishment of the International Tapestry Design Prize for Architects, for which she was awarded the William J. Mitchell Prize for contributions to Australian architecture in the international arena.

ATW chair Su Baker honoured the outgoing director for her contribution to the organisation, acknowledging her “ground-breaking” leadership and “big picture vision” she brought to the job over a decade and a half.

“Her legacy is a vibrant, robust and contemporary organisation that is known around Australia and the world for innovation, creativity and excellence,” said Baker.

Baker said the former Victorian Tapestry Workshop was shaped under Syme’s stewardship into the organisation it is today, which celebrates deep connections with international workshops such as the Gobelins Manufactory in Paris and Dovecot Studios in Edinburgh.

Syme built enduring relationships with overseas institutions and helped to bolster the profile of the tapestry organisation. She also established a successful Artist-in-Residence program, small tapestry prizes, exhibitions, weaver exchanges with the UK and France, and a vibrant arts program.

The ATW said her tenure has been marked by a focus on working with living artists, with a particular emphasis Indigenous artists.

Syme said the ATW is a “unique and vital part of Australia’s cultural fabric” that continues to evolve with the times. She said it has been a “privilege” to work with a talented group of staff and board members and thanked the donors for their ongoing support.

The recruitment of a new director will begin forthwith.

Source: Architecture - architectureau

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