April 1st – 30th
An exhibition of work from 6 Australian Artists who use
elements from the earth to provide pigment and dyes to
colour their art, featuring wearable art and wall pieces.
Philomena Hali (NT) Pam Hovel (VIC) Della Jones (VIC)
Glenys Mann (NSW) Charlene O’Brien (WA) Trace Willans (TAS)
Charlene O’Brien (WA)
Specializing in eco-textile designs, Charlene O’Brien creates sensuously elegant garments. Her fashion label ECO LOGIKA@ is recognised internationally for uniquely combining raw organic fibres, hand spun silks, recycled clothing remnants, organic Australian merino wool, and luxurious, sustainably grown silk fabrics. Her largely neutral palette of antique hues, derived from natural botanical dyes, is highlighted by vibrant appliqué and beadwork using glass, shell and semi-precious stone.
Pam Hovel of Raw Edge Textiles is a Bendigo-based textile artist producing beautiful, botanically dyed, fine wool garments, scarves and wraps.
She developed an interest in felt making in 2004 and has won awards for her work in various textile exhibitions including the Australian Sheep and Wool show.
Following her creative instincts, she began her search for sustainable art practices. After exploring different techniques and fibres she developed a beautiful, soft felt fabric using super-fine Merino wool.
Consistent with being inspired by nature, only eco-friendly and sustainable dyeing practices have been used. All dyes are derived from plants,
predominantly eucalyptus and sometimes with the enhancement of found metals. No harmful chemical mordants are used in the process.
These truly organic garments are unique, each with a relaxed Australian feel.
A small sample of her work can be viewed at www.rawedgetextiles.com or Pam can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org
GENRE IN WHICH I WORK:
I am a contemporary quilt maker that works with found‚ cloth, namely old wool blankets and silk, all hand stitched.
The cloth is natural dyed with leaves, bark, lichen and any found organic material.
My work is inspired by emotions of the environment and emotions of everyday life.
The ‘Horizon’ series, was an on going series that traced the emotions of always trying to achieve the ‘Horizons’ that we set as goals, but never seeming to be able to attain.
This series has finished with 64 art works!
Late in 2008 I started on a new body of works ‘MEMORY CLOTH’. This series will extend my thoughts even beyond what I feel is possible. I will be considering how the cloth is hung on the wall, not rigid as in the traditional‚ way of exhibiting, but allowing the cloth to retain a ‘memory’ in the folds that are free to form!
Then my way of thinking was changed when the Black Saturday Victorian bush fires ravaged the State in February 2009. Our son and his young family lost everything in the fires. Within their very small neighborhood they lost 11 friends and 43 houses, this new work is a testament to the strength of character of human nature.
MEMORY CLOTH #12: Numbers Lost, is a plant dyed whole blanket that I stitched the markings of counting numbers onto the surface a week after the fires it was like a way of getting my head around what happened, not only to our family, but to all of the 173 people that were lost and their families.
During the period of time that I have been a ‘Quilt maker’, I have struggled with having to conform with the ‘strict rules’ of quilt-making!! Always constantly being reminded that my seams were never straight and that my points never met perfectly and that I should only use the traditional cloth, cotton, to make a quilt, I found, to my huge relief, that there was another way of expressing my emotions!
The emergence of „the Contemporary Quilt, gave me the answers that I have always been looking for, to be able to ‘do’ what I wanted to do, without the constant nagging of the traditionalists!
To have the freedom to use cloth that held the knowledge of a previous owner.
To use cloth that maybe a bit worn!
To hand stitch, but never with a perfect stitch or thread!
To be able to play in the dirt and the leaves, to colour this precious cloth!
To be able to set your own ‘rules’, if you really needed them!
To have the ‘guts’ to put your strongest emotion into your work!
And, to have your work accepted by your peers, without any criticism!
My work is inspired by emotions of the environment, the world events and emotions of everyday life.
Seems that there is much to tell and no doubt I will have a lot more to say, in my quilts, in the future.
Della Jones (Vic)
Della Jones is a professional teacher and a long-term member of the Victorian Feltmakers. She frequently conducts workshops for the VFI as well as for private craft groups and regional art galleries.
Her primary focus is felt, but she is also a passionate knitter, spinner, dyer, textile printer and dressmaker.
Della lives in the foothills of the Strzelecki Ranges near Morwell in Gippsland and with her husband Steve, runs a Finn sheep stud. It was the excellent felting wool of this breed of sheep that drew Della to try felting 15 years ago. Today, she still prefers to use her own Finn wool for most of her felting work.
A keen gardener and regular bushwalker, Della’s enjoyment of the abundant flora she encounters daily is seen in her preference for natural dyes, both native and exotic, in her felting work.
Now retired after over 30 years of secondary teaching, Della is finding time to further expand her assortment of
interests. Her love of felt is all about indulging the spirit. She seldom dabbles in exhibitions, competitions or sales, preferring to keep any hint of stress well away from what is, for her, a satisfying and calming hobby. By sharing her skills and love of felt through teaching, Della hopes to inspire others to find their own creative sides and restore balance to what is often a too-busy and serious life
At the heart, all my work comes from the premise that the Earth itself is sacred and not enough is being done to protect what is our only home.
I am currently engaged in trying to use in my work only those things that are ecologically sustainable and environmentally friendly.
I am trying to minimize the impact my art has upon the earth.
In sympathy with this philosophy I am exploring making my own paints from products such as egg, milk and yoghurt.
I use only natural dyes and natural fibres.
Philomena Hali has lived and worked in Alice Springs for the last 19 years – and has contributed to the arts community in the capacity of tutor, facilitator mentor, and guest speaker at invited functions.
She has participated as Artist in Residence in several Northern Territory schools, tutored in Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia and tutors on an annual basis at the Crafts Council (Territory Craft), in Alice Springs.
Philomena has been heavily involved with the Migrant and Indigenous communities of Central Australia, through her facilitation of CCD projects, mentroree program with the ‘Hidden Valley Mosaic Art Project’, ‘Making Tracks”, Public Arts project, Harmony Day and the annual Croc Festival,
(attended by all indigenous children from NT, WA, and Qld)
Philomena is currently working with InCite Youth Arts, overseeing several Mosaic arts projects in Alice Springs Primary schools and as Mentor to Youth
and senior Indigenous artists, with mosaic installation projects.
She recently conducted workshops in schools in Tasmania. In 1998/99 she was selected as one of seven Australians to attend the International Shibori Symposium in Chile.
In 2004 Philomena received the ‘Tribute to Northern Territory Women’, in recognition for her achievements in her contribution to NT Arts and Crafts
and as a volunteer. She also received Honorary Life Membership with Territory Craft.
She continues to exhibit nationally, attends interstate Textile Forums in pursuit of furthering her knowledge and pursues her own practice as Textile& Fibre artist.
Phil’s artistic contributions to the community are coupled with a strong commitment to social justice. She is involved in the centre for drug rehabilitation in Alice Springs, has acted as vice-chair for the Migrant Resource Centre, is a member of the Local Council Advisory Board and has contributed to Disabilities Services.