Wall hanging, 1965-1975, by John Rodriquez
Source: Museum Victoria
Discover the unique style of John Rodriquez, one of Australia’s most innovative textile designers.
From the 1940s to the 1980s John Rodriquez designed everything from dress fabrics to tea towels, contributing to the emergence of a new and colourful Australian style. Some of Rodriquez’s most innovative designs as well as his tools and sketches feature in a new display at Melbourne Museum, John Rodriquez – Textile Designer.
Many of Rodriquez’s designs drew on a growing sense of Australian identity. He featured Australian motifs including Aboriginal imagery and native flora and fauna, fashionable during the 1940s and 50s.
When Rodriquez was young his grandmother encouraged him to draw and paint. After his finished school he won a scholarship to RMIT where he studied to be an art teacher before moving into industrial design. Starting at his kitchen table in the early 1950s, mixing dyes in a blender, Rodriquez built up his own business. He quickly moved from the kitchen to a rented garage and in 1957 into his own factory in Highett.
Rodriquez Textiles follows the development and context of Rodriquez’s designs. The display features original works including a selection of skirt fabric designs produced exclusively for Melbourne designer shops; a checkerboard tablecloth with individually designed squares; and original artwork for fabric celebrating the1956 Melbourne Olympic Games.