Caboolture Regional Art Gallery
4 December 2021 to 29 January 2022
About the Exhibition
Enter a world of furry forests, cosy bathtubs and embraceable artworks. Over summer, Michelle Vine will transform the gallery into an immersive exhibition where play and touch are highly encouraged.
Michelle Vine is a contemporary installation artist whose practice centres on creating accessible and inclusive artworks that utilise human touch.
Soft touch is designed to be accessible to local community members with disabilities or access requirements and their family and friends. Artworks in the exhibition are audio described and AUSLAN interpreted.
For people using a cane, when navigating through the space, tactile floor tape indicates the location of artworks, which you can reach out and touch or experience with your whole body. A cane detectable indicator will alert you to the QR code directly above, scan this to listen to the audio descriptions on your own device.
Artworks in the exhibition are audio described and AUSLAN interpreted.
Excerpt from exhibition catalogue essay by Dr Louise Mayhew:
“Michelle’s Soft Touch is a restful wonderland. Her work beckons us to linger and unwind in the reassuring textures of her Comfort Objects and Affirmation Tubs. Even her artwork titles conjure the gentle Swaying of flora and the slowed Snail’s pace of shelled gastropods. In turn, her art is an antidote to the increasing pace and interconnectedness of late capitalism, the insidious mantras of neoliberal feminism, and the toxic productivity of social media, which value our labour and our leisure through salaries and likes. By prioritising rest, Soft Touch sits alongside artists and art movements such as Lee Lozano, Hannah Bronte and the Slow Art Movement, which seek alternative temporalities. Like them, Soft Touch provides an escape from contemporary pressures and champions rest as radical.“
Gina Farley writing for Arts Hub’s weekly Arts New wrap up:
“Soft touch is a stunning exhibition of soft sculptures and soothing soundscapes by Brisbane artist Michelle Vine, which intelligently welcomes diverse audiences into the playground of contemporary art. Inviting visitors to ‘please touch the art’ via a world of furry forests, cosy bathtubs and huggable artworks … It is her first major solo exhibition at a regional gallery.“
Bree Di Mattina’s review of the exhibition for ArtsHub:
“Vine’s use of fabric, fur, sequins and other common materials signal a larger break down of art ‘rules’. Encouraging visitors to touch and play with the artworks, Vine has created an exhibition accessible to all members of the community. Moving away from the primacy of sight which has traditionally dominated galleries, Vine’s works encourage interaction utilising touch and hearing in addition to the visual. This multi-sensory exhibition follows on from the massive success of artists such as Yayoi Kusama and obliteration rooms, Shoplifter’s Nervescape V (2016) as part of Sugar Spin at QAGOMA and the interactive juggernaut Van Gogh Alive. While die hard art buffs may shy away from the popularity of exhibitions such as Soft Touch, Vine’s ‘touch’ is as serious as it is fun. Encouraging play, embracing materials, offering inclusivity and expanding the offering of the traditional museum, this exhibition is the big, fat hug we all need right now.“
Curator: Hannah Williamson for Caboolture Regional Art Gallery
Exhibition photography by Katie Bennett (Instagram: @embellysh), Eliza Vine and the artist
Major solo show commissioned and funded by Moreton Bay Regional Galleries