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In Conversation with artist John Brooks

Multidisciplinary textile artists
Lisa Waup and John Brooks
create a wonderland out of
bright, fun and colourful textiles
with help from Convent kids at
Weave It!—a free, hands-on exhibition filled with daily activities to get your imaginations running wild.

7 – 23 January, 2022
10am – 1pm, daily

Anything can be string at Weave It!

Multidisciplinary textiles artists John Brooks and Lisa Waup (Gunditjmara and Torres Strait Islander) takeover the gallery spaces at The Store as part of Convent Kids Weave It!—a free, participatory weaving evolutionary exhibition for children and their grown-ups.

What drew you and Lisa to work together, and how do children and weaving intercept in play?

I’ve wanted to work with Lisa for a while. Her sensitivity with materials, the graphic yet organic quality of her print work and drawings, and her approach to found materials. The first time I saw Lisa’s work was when I was on the install team at Craft Victoria for an exhibition called Hero Worship (curated by Debbie Pryor and Hannah Presley). I loved how personal, sculptural and tactile the work was. We met a few years later through Hannah, and there’s always been an intuitive feeling that we’d make amazing work together, which I think is so important when working with another artist.

Weaving works well with children because it follows a simple, repetitive formula that can produce small or large outcomes. This process can be simple, or it can be expanded on and explored to create complexity using a variety of objects and materials.

What do you hope the children will take away from this work?

I hope that children will take away the ability to look at everyday objects as potential materials and learn to make string out of anything—and then make anything out of string.

The fashion industry is one of the world’s biggest polluters. So, I hope that the kids will become more resourceful and use the ideas in these workshops to slow down their consumption of textiles as they grow up.

What drew you to exhibit at Abbotsford Convent?

Abbotsford Convent is a cultural hub and reaches a wide audience. Hopefully, that leads to a wide range of children growing up with the ability to transform textile waste into functional textile materials. The Convent has a strong textile history that continues today with a range of textile makers on-site, who have generously donated their waste materials to this project!

Discover more

Weave It!
The Store
7 – 23 January 2022


John Brooks is a Naarm (Melbourne)-based artist who works across media exploring the interconnectivity and influential, anthropologic relationships of humans, objects and materials. John originally trained as a textile designer and predominantly works with hand-weaving techniques, and has collaborated with local fashion labels to create custom fabrics.

Thank you

To Ulo and Ink & Spindle for contributing fabrics to the event.

Weave It!  is supported by City of Yarra and Creative Victoria.