WA Inspired Art Quilters

A Dollar Each Way by Roberta Chantler

Fruits of Our Labours by Denise Mallon

WA Inspired Art Quilters is a group of eight ladies:- Hilary Arber, Roberta Chantler, Meg Cowey, Pat Forster, Elizabeth Humphreys, Stephanie Knudsen, Stella King and Denise Mallon who have joined together to exhibit their work with West Australian inspired themes. Their first exhibition is currently on at Mundaring Art Centre. It was a cold and wet Saturday afternoon when the Quilt and Textile Study Group visited the exhibition and were given an inspiring and informative talk by one of their members Liz Humphreys.

Eroding Dunes by Liz Humphreys

Water for the Goldfields from the Forest by Liz Humphreys

It is very evident that the group have a love and appreciation of the Western Australian landscape, have all travelled widely and many lived in rural settings.

A Pinch of Salt Please & Red Earth by Stephanie Knudsen

Wildflowers by Hilary Arber

Farm Feet with Attitude by Pat Forster

The exhibition consists of two Series of works:- Series – One Sand/Strata/Scheme/Salt & Series Two – Primary Production.

Lovely close up stitch details.

The exhibition runs until 18th June 2017.



Wearable Art Whispers

No longer a whisper, La Mariposa was revealed yesterday in a beautiful performance by Tash from DTX Studios in Perth’s Forrest Chase Mall.cocoon (3)Wearable Art Whispers was the brain child of Anzara Clarke, a project involving seven artists from around Australia, each contributing to the garment. Each artist responded to the project theme “La Mariposa” from Clarissa Pinkola Estes book “Women Who Run With The Wolves” and the work of the previous artists. The artists in order are Deb Hiller (WA), Sue Sacchero (WA), Tanya da Silva (NSW), Philomena Hali (NT), Larissa Murdock (QLD), Stephanie Powell (NSW) and Louise Wells (WA)La Mariposa 1Each artist chose the area of the work they wanted to create and wow, seeing each piece up close they are all works of art. Deb – started the garment with a lovely velvet corset, beautiful details up close, Sue – a stunning skirt with panniers to give La Mariposa the hips she proudly wears, Tanya – a beautiful macrame necklace, Philomena – A felted dreadlocks headpiece with embroidered words relating to La Mariposa, Larissa – Delicate hand pieces distributing pollen, Stephanie – Wings, that are exactly as described in the text, Louise – A 2.8m cocoon made from recycled crochet doilies.La Mariposa 2We each has a month to design and create our section, followed by freighting to the next artist. We have a private Facebook page for up dates, show and tell, and support. I am really looking forward to meeting some of these women in a couple of months at Fibres West.La Mariposa 3As the last artist I had the pleasure of seeing the whole garment to conclusion. I chose to make La Mariposa a cocoon (more correctly a chrysalis) to emerge from, to start her journey. This is the first piece of work I have made with performance in mind as the initial concept. I was delighted that Tash could see my vision and brought her to life so beautifully. Still have goosebumps!La Mariposa 5La Mariposa 6La Mariposa 4

Guarding Secrets

This box arrived late last week. It has grown in size and accumulated address labels as it has travelled across Australia, through the middle, up and down the east coast and now back to Western Australia. Ruby on box 2Wearable Art Whispers is a project facilitated by artist Anzara Clarke and will be a part of Wearable Art Mandurah 2017. I am the last of seven artists to contribute to the project, each person adding their own unique piece to the garment, whilst responding to what has gone before. It was a delight to open the box and see the beautiful work the others have made. You, will have to wait…My Studio Supervisor is guarding the contents of this box.

 WAFTA members received their “Altered States” bags at the general meeting last night. The challenge is to create a small work (30 x30cm) from the contents of the bag which will then be exhibited in September…this is also a secret. A quick look in my bag…it is going to be a big challenge, one with lots of giggles 🙂 WAFTA Challenge Bag
Not so secret is the announcement last night of the WAFTA Fibres West 2017 Scholarship. I am delighted and very grateful to be the recipient of the scholarship. Fibres West is in July and I am really looking forward to spending a week away to immerse myself in everything textiles. A 5 day workshop with Amanda McCavour, along with lectures, activities and textile related events.
And finally last week I made an Artist page on facebook.
Louise Wells – Artist. An extremely simple process I discovered when I mentioned to the Gen Y in the house “I really should have a Facebook Artist Page” “Yes” he said, and proceeded to set it up for me quicker than I could login to my account…occasionally things really are that simple 🙂
My High School

And to really end – Last Saturday my High School celebrated its 50th year. It was wonderful to catch up with old friends and also to be reminded of where my immersion in art began. I attended a specialist art program here for five years along with every other art and sewing class I could wiggle my way into.

Making art …

Monets Garden 1 On Saturday we saw I, Claude Monet. A rather slow moving, although very interesting film of images of Monet’s work and photographs of his family, friends and home with voice over reading from his letters and diaries. Throughout the movie, he expressed his exhaustion and his frustration with his work…all his life. He lived in dire poverty for many many years and never truly felt he did much work of great value!
I think to most of us his garden and Les Nymphéas (The Water Lilies)…say otherwise.The Water LiliesHere is little Olivia on our visit in 2008. Here is a short video of at the  Musée de l’Orangerie Monets Garden 5Monets Garden 2Monets garden 7Monets garden 6The WAFTA general meetings started for 2017 on Sunday after a two month gap. It was lovely to catch up with new and old friends and we had an interesting talk by Canadian artist Laura Vickerson.

Yesterday we photographed works for two exhibition entries. One was a reshoot as I was never really happy with the white background we had used previously. I loved the detail shots, but when the full work was viewed on a computer screen it kind of got lost in the background. If you can imagine a 1.5m work the size of a gift card, the fine details appeared as one dull colour. We shot it with a black background yesterday and with the greater contrast, it came alive.

I’ve been hand stitching solidly for a couple of weeks on the second piece. An often asked question is “How long did that take you to make?” Well, completing the hand stitch alone, I caught up with all the TV shows I had recorded, finished Wolf Hall DVD Series and the entire final season of Downton Abbey. The listening and glancing TV watching technique of course.

I’ve just got a bit more paperwork to finish and then dive into the next work.
The past few nights I have ironed all the recent purchase of op shop ties ready to start working with.March 1 035



It’s been a busy week…and a bit…

Firstly a transformation of the studio into boudoir for our friends from Sydney for a long weekend. It’s amazing what you find when you have a good clean up…
Five lovely days including an unheard of visit to the beach on a Monday morning…what an extravagance. The beach and weather stunning – it was meant to be 🙂

Then the submission of my 2017 entry for Wearable Art Mandurah WAM. The work has been finished for a while, photos taken, but pressing that “submit” button…it’s when you let go of your work.

On Saturday I gave a talk to the WAFTA WASG (Wearable Art Study Group) about my journey and experiences over the past 4 years making wearable art followed by a mini workshop.A simple way to start making Wearable ArtDiscover the possibilities of upcycling your recycling bin!WASG2
Participants worked directly on dress forms, playing with recycled materials. Using pins, staples and masking tape to speed up the process.WASG
It’s always interesting to see a garment develop on a body shape. You can do lots of drawings and designs, but when you place the items on a body form it comes to life.WASG10

WASG11WASG9All the participants made wonderful and unique starts to wearable art garments, including two 10 year old girls present by default.WASG6 I could see the start of some wonderful garments for the 2018 WAM competition!WASG4WASG13WASG8


The workshop reminded me that I really enjoy teaching, something that I have been pushing aside for a long time.

I’m well into the next deadline and it’s slowly progressing with machine and now hand stitch. This needs to be my focus for the next few weeks.13 Feb 004 13 Feb 023

Wearable Art Parade

Last week I had the pleasure of helping my friend Jo Ireland with a Wearable Art Parade she organised for staff at St John of God Hospital Murdoch. Gorgeous students from Seton College (came back from holidays) to model in the show.SJOG Murdoch Wearble art paradeGarment by Philomena Hali made from rope and cable ties.
Philomena HaliGarment by Jo Ireland made from desalination filter paper and fruit tree netting.
Jo IrelandGarment by Julie Smith modeled by the delightful Colin.Julie Smith 2The last showing of The Gilded CageThe Gilded Cage at SJOG MurdochJulie SmithJulie Smith’s work above and below Julie Smith 3Fire FliesFire Flies at SJOG MurdochAnother by Jo Ireland made from rubber bands, nespresso pods, jigsaw puzzle piecesJo Ireland 2 This was the final showing of the The Gilded Cage. The garment has been worn and shown on many occasions, traveling as far as Broome, and now the cage is worn out and retiring. The corset may become part of another garment…I love that it has been seen and worn so many times.Gorgeous Seton College models

A Short Break

My Husband and I took a short break away from the kids and the dogs to Bunbury last weekend to see the Oz Quilt Network, Australia Wide Five exhibition at BRAG and especially the Artist talks held on Saturday afternoon. Oct 17 109I was one of four WA artists who spoke about their work on show. Oz Quilt Network President Margery Goodall spoke on behalf of several artists from other states, their work, inspiration, techniques, challenges, and how they go about creating.AW5
Artist talks are always interesting as they give you a much greater insight, understanding and appreciation of the work.AW5 6AW5 4AW5 3All of the works can be seen in the online catalogue.Margery GoodallSunrise Sunset by Margery GoodallKathy BeilbyChanging Landscape 2 by Kathy BeilbyJudy HooworthCreek Drawing #13 by Judy HooworthClaire SmithSevere Weather Event by Clare SmithCarolyn SullivanFlower Cover by Carolyn Sullivan

My work Silver Linings #4 Seeds of Hope was inspired by travels along the Forrest Highway towards Bunbury, Western Australia after the Yarloop Bush-fires in January this year. We drove past the blackened devastation caused by the fires only two weeks after the event. Even at this early stage, new growth was present. The tops of the Zanthorea (Grass Trees) had started shooting, small specks of green appeared in the ash; a sign that our Australian bush is tough, resilient and adaptable to the circumstances presented.Silver Liings #4Now nine months later the view from the roadside.Forrest Highway

The afternoon was a nice catch up with friends and thanks to their local knowledge, a delicious dinner that evening at Market Eating House.

Australia Wide Five

The latest Oz Quilt Network exhibition Australia Wide Five launched at Bunbury Regional Art Galleries last Friday night. I am delighted that two of my works were selected for this juried touring exhibition that will travel around Australia for the next 18 months.

Both works are part of the Silver Linings Series.

Silver Linings #3 A Glimpse of SilverSilver Linings #3Statement: Continuing the series of Silver Linings, this work explores the use of reflective tape to highlight the glimpse or quick flash of silver, the moment of realisation, the spark of an idea…

Materials: Recycled men’s business shirts, silks, polyester satin, reflective tape, interfacing, polyester machine threads
Techniques: Hand dyeing, stamping, transfer print, machine stitch, cut away

Silver Linings #4 Seeds of HopeSilver Liings #4Statement: Out of darkness and disaster comes seeds of hope, regeneration, new beginnings, an opportunity to choose to do things differently.

Materials: silk organza, silk dupion, denim, embroidery threads, polyester machine threads
Techniques: printing, sun dyeing, machine and hand stitch, cut away technique

The exhibition runs to Sunday 6 November 2016 with artist floor talks at 1pm on Saturday 15 October 2016. Bunbury Regional Art Galleries is open daily from 10am-4pm and entry is free. Further dates and gallery venues and the Australia Wide Five catalogue can be found here

All works in the Australia Wide series of exhibitions can be viewed in the online catalogues


A short break, a new outlook

A much needed overnight break away last weekend was welcome relief in our current, very busy life. We went to visit our son Josh Wells who is Artist in Residence at Beverley Station Arts in the beautifully restored 130 year old Station Masters House, now Artist-in Residence accommodation and gallery.Josh Beverely Station ArtsJosh has an exhibition and a photography workshop scheduled among his time here to focus on new works….both writing and photography. I’m really excited to see what comes from this residency. If this photo (taken by the owner of the field and Beverley Station Arts committee member) is an indication…Canola fieldThe vibrant and friendly community was out in force on the weekend at the Agricultural Show. I love a country show, the exhibition hall…love these children’s exhibits.Children's exhibit the animals…the chooks!

Chook 21

Chook 11Chook 12Chook 6Chook 18Chook 1Chook 14
Chook 9Chook 2Chook 25Chook 24Just a tad of excitement seeing all these gorgeous chooks…they are wearable art!

Pattern, texture, design…all in a lovable pet.