Marjorie Coleman: Founding Member

Marjorie ColemanPortrait
© 1987
Marjorie Coleman
Search for the Tree of Life
– In the Light  (detail) © 2008
Marjorie Coleman
Search for the Tree of Life
– In the Light © 2008

Biography & Background

I was educated at University of Western Australia (BA Hons plus degree unit in clinical psychology) and Claremont School of Art. I worked as a psychologist upon graduation at the West Perth Clinic and as a Guidance Officer with the Education Dept. of WA, and in Britain, at The Mulberry Bush for maladjusted children in Stanlake Oxfordshire. I have always stitched from the age of about six (doll’s clothes, my own and, later, my children’s – Hooray for Enid Gilchrist).

I have shown work across Australia and in USA, Europe, Japan and the Middle East. Work are in the collections of The Australian National Gallery, The Powerhouse Museum (Sydney),  Grafton  (NSW) City Council and in private collections in Australia, Britain, France and Japan.  A piece has been used by UNICEF as a card and stationary set and my work has been featured in many respected books and Art-Craft publications.

I have given workshops throughout NSW, WA, Victoria and briefly, USA; and for ten years, was a tutor in the Community Access program of the WA College of Advanced Education; and also tutor for Summer Schools in Perth and Albany, and promotions in Geraldton and Bunbury (WA).

I have always promoted the use of images and shapes which stem from the maker’s own experience and interest and have worked within the structures of the various craft bodies to urge personal experiment (rather than copying American or British, or for that matter,  Australian, set pieces, with greater or lesser success).

Statement

I have always been interested in the natural world and have used textiles to explore and express this interest, initially using the quilt medium and later “taking the thread for a walk” (apologies to Paul Klee); I love Australian flora for its diversity of flower and leaf. It seems so imaginative, as do the colours and patterns on fish. (My husband and I snorkelled extensively in the Pacific.)

It seems to me to be quite important that what we make reflects ourselves. Whether we stitch or whether we hammer seems to be not as important as the fact that we are giving shape to our sensibilities, colour to our insights.  And when we are bored or desperate or overjoyed or curious, we have a special activity into which we can channel energy, with which we can express our deepest hurts and losses, our greatest joys and loves.

We can, in a special sense, make our words flesh. We, who can make, are the lucky ones.

© Marjorie Coleman 2014