Louise Weaver’s multidisciplinary practice fuses textile art with printmaking and sculpture to produce fantastic reflections of the natural world. She is perhaps best known for her textile taxidermy, woolen animals that are playfully crocheted with highlights of tinsel, faux fur or glitter. Her works are reminiscent of the magic and humour of surrealists like Meret Oppenheim. As Deborah Hart has written in her entry on Weaver
in the Museum of Contemporary Art Collection Handbook
(2016): "Reality and unreality, culture and nature, are closely interwoven in Weaver’s art."
Citing Arcimboldo, Hans Holbien and the Japanese painter Ito Jakuchu as influences, a unifying thread in Weaver's interests seems to be the art of illusion. In the same way that Arcimboldo constructed portraits out of fruits and vegetables, or that Jakuchu created visual tricks in his natural subjects that prefigured Escher, Weaver's art requires viewers to look and think twice to fully appreciate the layers of meaning in each sculpture or image.
In 2019, Weaver received a retrospective, Between Appearances: The Art of Louise Weaver,
Buxton Contemporary, University of Melbourne. Earlier, in 2006, a major survey show of her work, Taking a chance on love: selected works 1990-2006
, was held at the McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park, Victoria. Weaver has held residencies from the Australia Council Visual Arts Board, New York (2009), the Australian Tapestry Workshop Studio Rediency, Melbourne (2009), and the Australian Print Workshop Venice Studio Residency, Italy (2007). Major recent group shows featuring Weaver’s work include: The Lady & the Unicorn
, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney (2018); Every Brilliant Eye: Australian Art of the 1990s
, National Gallery of Australia, Melbourne (2017); Venice and Biennale Artists at APW
, Australian Print Workshop, Melbourne (2015); and Reading the Space: Contemporary Australian Drawing #3
, New York Studio School, New York (2013).
Louise Weaver’s work is held in major public and private collections across Australia, including the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne and the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, as well as the British Museum, London, and private, regional and corporate collections across Australia and internationally. In 2003, a monograph, Louise Weaver selected works – 1999 to 2003,
was published by Scanlan and Theodore.
Weaver is represented by Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney.