School of Architecture

Adrienne Kneebone
Born 1975 Launceston, Tasmania. Lived and worked Darwin and Katherine, Northern Territory 1995–2010. Lives and works East Warburton, Victoria.

As rough as grass undies 2006, 2015
Mixed-media installation: clothes hoist, cotton underwear, and Spear Grass (Austrostipa spp.)
Dimensions variable (200.0 x 200.0 x 200.0 cm approx.). Courtesy of the artist. 

Adrienne Kneebone spent fifteen years living in the Northern Territory, including three years immersed in the remote country and culture of the Bulman and Beswick communities. Her involvement in The Pandanus Project from 2008, established the artist’s commitment to fusing contemporary fibre art forms with refined Indigenous techniques.

Passionate about the transformation of flora into cultural objects, in this work Kneebone creates connections between nature, femininity and the environment as an adornment. An experienced camper, the artist has visited many remote locations in Australia’s northwest gathering seeds for mining-reclamation projects. Carefully pegged and spaced on the hoist, the hot-pink briefs threaded with native grasses are both tactile and suggestive. Seeds and briefs rubbing against delicate skin make palpable the harsh and dusty environmental conditions of the outback. The lace undies hung to dry contrast the resourcefulness and bush knowledge of rural women with urban desires – creature comforts, cleanliness and sensual intimacy.

In 2006, an earlier of version of this work won a prize at Darwin’s Sculpture in the Park as being reflective of the Northern Territory. The artist currently lives in the cooler climate of the Yarra Ranges, teaching and mentoring a next generation of fibre artists.