Art Quilt Australia , including Expressions: the Wool Quilt Prize, is a biennial juried exhibition open to textile artists resident in Australia and New Zealand, and OZQN members worldwide. OZQN defines a quilt as a stitched layered textile incorporating any material and employing any technique. The National Wool Museum defines a wool quilt in a similar manner but it must be composed predominantly of wool.
Art Quilt Australia 2021 was exhibited at Shoalhaven Regional Gallery in June 2021 and Yarra Ranges Regional Museum from December to February 2022.
Museum Program Recordings
- Meet the Curator Recording -16 September 2021: 55 mins
- Meet the Artist: Sue de Vanny 26 August 2021: 53mins
- Meet the Artist: Fiona Gavens 19 September 2021: 56 minutes
For an overview of the exhibition and commentary from 14 AQA artists, view the Art Quilt Australia 2021 Exhibition Overview & Artist Insights video made in conjunction with the exhibition premiere at Shoalhaven Regional Gallery in June 2021.
Art Quilt Australia 2021 Online Gallery
© 2021 Christine Beardsley
100cm H x 180cm W
Statement: Christine Beardsley explores the manmade structures of the Port River in South Australia. The rusting industrial structures of the soda ash factory on the riverbank of the Port River in Adelaide hide the polluting secrets of the past. The river is home to a group of wild Bottlenose Dolphins.
Materials: Organic cotton, cotton thread, cotton batting and wadding
Techniques: Photoshopped original images, commercially printed, stitched through three layers.
© 2021 Anna Brown
158cm H x 176cm W
Statement: The lake near Anna’s home still reflects the aftermath of the catastrophic fires of last summer. There is still evidence of dead trees and foliage reflected in the water, but with welcome rain the new growth is winning and the tranquil waters are returning.
Materials: Commercially dyed and printed cotton and linen.
Techniques: Raw edge reverse appliqué. Machine pieced and hand quilted.
© 2021 Dianne Firth
133cm H x 67cm W
Statement: The work was inspired by Canberra’s springtime floral festival Floriade where a profusion of flowering bulbs and annuals are laid out in extravagant patterns and sweeps of colour.
Materials: Felt, polyester net, polyester thread.
Techniques: Collage, layering, machine stitched.
Photographer: Andrew Sikorski
TAKE A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE
© 2021 Susan de Vanny
128cm H x 97cm W
Statement: Influenced by the diminishing Rhino population and wanting to capture this Rhino walking constantly in danger of being killed. In red like a beacon, or is he angry at humanity? Webbed holes in what would be the rear of the Rhino represent the fast disappearance of this wonderful animal.
Materials: Hand painted and commercial cotton, organza, vinyl fabric. Various yarns, Aurifil 28,40 & 50 & threads. Wool/poly batting.
Techniques: CPainted background with inks, fabric collage, thread sketching and free motion quilting.
©2021 Pat Forster
154cm H x 154cm W
Statement: The motif is my design and evokes, for me, flaying arms in an aerobics class. So I thought, why not have the figures dressed in psychedelic gym gear.
Materials: Cotton fabrics, polyester cotton thread, polyester wadding.
Techniques: Machine pieced and quilted.
GHOST BLANKET IV
©2021 Fiona Gavens
109cm H x 74cm W
EXPRESSIONS WOOL QUILT PRIZE 2021
$3000 acquisitive prize sponsored by
The National Wool Museum
Statement: Ghost Blanket IV”, woven checked blankets are deconstructed and reimagined to create an appliquéd work with the feel of lace. It celebrates the natural colours of alpaca fleece and the qualities of felted, woven fabric.
Materials: Felted, woven alpaca, wool yarns, poly/cotton thread, silk organza.
Techniques: Machine appliqué
©2021 Helen Gray
100cm H x 70cm W
Statement: Helen's bark coils invite reflection on the process of letting go as we age. Shedding possessions, shedding treasures, shedding tears. Stitches trace the marks of bugs in the bark of the scribbly gum (Eucalyptus haemastoma), acting like scribbled memories. The forest litter is both a farewell and a sign of renewal.
Materials: Linen, euclayptus bark dyed silk, various threads.
Techniques: Bark dying, hand stitched
FOG ON THE TAMAR
© 2021 Lynne Hargreaves
75cm H x 195cm W
Statement: The artist is attracted to pattern in nature and is currently working with linear landscapes and impressions cobbled together from travels around the Tamar Valley. Not direct depictions they capture abstracted elements and fleeting moments such as the banks and wisps of fog filtering light and repainting the vista.
Materials: Cotton reactive, tray dyed, assorted commercially printed fabrics, organza, variegated machine and embroidery threads.
Techniques: Hand dyed cotton fabrics pieced and over worked with double needle and free motion machine stitching and hand embroidery, couching and appliquéd and layered organza.
WAVERLEY: Best for Rest
©2021 Lynne Hargreaves
84cm H x 89cm W
EXPRESSIONS WOOL QUILT PRIZE
Statement: Waverley Tasmania gives its name to Australia’s last remaining working woollen mill. Established in 1874 and once producing 80% of the Australian blanket market Waverley Mills now produce designer wool products samples of which make up the quilt’s surface.
Materials: The quilt is pieced together from a bag of off-cuts bought from the factory shop.
Techniques: Improvised piecing of assorted woollen fabrics stabilised with interfacing and overworked with free double needle and free-motion machine stitching. The surface is further embellished, with hand embroidery and couched, hand formed wool roving ropes, braids and threads.
©2021 Neroli Henderson
90cm H x 90cm W
Statement: Global warming is decimating the earth, including glaciers which range from 100 to 100,000,000 years old.
Materials: Giclée print on silk, assorted weight threads including extra heavy weight, metal foil, acrylic paint, wool/poly batting.
Techniques: Photography, digital manipulation, quilting, metal foiling, painting.
AND THEN THERE WERE THREE
© 2021 Cathy Jack Coupland
75cm H x 195cm W
OZQN AWARD OF EXCELLENCE
Statement: Using a long, narrow format inspired by the magnificent Medieval embroidery, the Bayeux Tapestry, this narrative composition features highly abstracted natural elements saturated with pattern. It tells the story of an Australian summer and a family of nesting magpies using frangipani leaves and flowers to inspire both shape and colour.
Materials: Bag batting, iron-on stabilizer, rayon and polyester threads.
Techniques: Free machine embroidery
©2021 Katherine Jones
122cm H x 75cm W
Statement: Exploring the possibilities of drawing with thread and creating transparent effects this quilt is an abstract depiction of a swarm of stinging blue bottle jellyfish.
Materials: Cotton fabric, thread and batting.
Techniques: Wholecloth quilting using ruler work on longarm quilting machine.
© 2021 Katherine Jones
150cm H x 200cm W
Statement: A stylised depiction of a lava flow exploring improvisational applique and contrasting textures.
Materials: Cotton & linen fabrics, wool batting, cotton threads
Techniques: Improvisational piecing and appliqué, longarm quilting with ruler and free hand work, hand embroidery.
TRAVERSING THE NIGHT
© 2021 Irene Koroluk
82cm H x 119cm W
Statement: Traversing the Night draws on my experience of walking through woodland, captivated by the magic of a moonlit night. Drawing on my memory, imagination and personal experience, this work aims to capture the otherworldly nature of landscape that allows us to both find and lose ourselves at the same time.
Materials: Black fabric, batting, bleach, thread, black marker.
Techniques: Free motion machine drawing and stitching on bleach spray-painted fabric.
©2021 Linden Lancaster
164cm H x 84cm W
Statement: Since joining our local Wildflower group, I have developed a passion for indigenous flora. Here I have included some favourites including corresponding notations from my journals.
Materials: Cotton, silk organza, silk, cheese cloth, satin and tulle
Techniques: Dye, mono-print, screen print, applique, thread sketching, quilted. The journal entries are digitally printed onto silk organza.
A BYGONE ERA
© 2021 Lana Lefroy
95cm H x 111cm W
Statement: The WA pastoral wool industry has been decimated by wild dogs. He works away. She does the mill runs and teaches the children School of the Air, waiting. Heartbreak, pulling out three generations of fencing. The shearing shed stands silent and forlorn, their Merinos now ghosts from the past.
Materials: Australian and Scottish woolen fabrics, cotton fabric, wool felt, Merino wool, woolen yarn, plastic sheep ear tags, cotton quilting and couching thread.
Techniques: Domestic machine and hand appliqué, hand embroidery and couched yarns, domestic machine quilted.
© 2021 Rachel Ratten
150cm H x 160cm W
Statement: Renewal is about reconciling quilting with Ratten's painting and printmaking practice – intending to create a sense of structure while juxtaposing strong and sometimes chaotic colour. Cloth has vastly different qualities than paint or ink, so utilising the ‘unforgiving’ nature of solids, they break down and simplify abstract composition.
Materials: Commercial and hand dyed cotton
Techniques: Pieced and machine quilted
©2021 Beth & Trevor Reid
180cm H x 180cm W
Statement: As it ages, denim becomes soft and velvety to the touch and the colours become subtle and muted. Reminiscent of the utilitarian quilts of the 1930’s and 40’s, this quilt, made from recycled jeans, uses a restricted palette with only the tonal values of the denim giving movement and depth.
Materials: Recycled denim jeans, cotton backing, cotton thread, 60/40 wool/poly batting.
Techniques: Machine pieced, raw edge appliqué, machine quilted.
© 2021 Julie-Anne Rogers
126cm H x 47cm W
Statement: The 2019/20 bushfires down the east coast of Australia were unprecedented. We suffered the smoke-filled air and many lost their homes but Mother Nature lost so much more.
Materials: Fabric, steel, thread, water soluble crayon
Techniques: Rusting, eco-dying, burning, stitching, drawing.
©2021 Lorraine Rogers
102cm H x 76cm W
Statement: Walking regularly past this local gum tree when out in flower, gave Lorraine the inspiration to try and capture the essence and colour of this magnificent sight. It took dozens of photos each time until eventually she captured an image that prompted her to begin the work.
Materials: The background is made up entirely from recycled ladies clothing of silks and polyesters sourced from local Opportunity shops. Each individual leaf is made from home dyed cottons. The blossoms are composed of speciality fabrics including sheers and vintage Kimono silks.
Techniques: Photoshop collage. Each individual leaf has been pieced together and machine appliquéd onto to the quilt top. Individual flower blossoms are hand machine embroidered.
©2020 Brenda Gael Smith
84cm H x 89cm W
Statement: Irresponsible land clearing has brought great pressure to the planet. Reforestation is vital as trees provide oxygen, improve air quality, ameliorate the climate, conserve water, prevent soil erosion and provide habitat for wildlife.
Materials: Cotton hand-dyed by the artist. Poly-wool batting. Thread.
Techniques: Freeform pieced. Machine stitched.
© 2021 Ileana Soto
173cm H x 99cm W
OZQN AWARD OF EXCELLENCE
Statement: This piece is done in response to the wildfires around me in California, first the Santa Rosa fire, then the Camp Fire in Paradise, CA, then the Australian bush fires. We must act quickly to stem the heat.
Materials: Silk shantung, Kona cotton..
Techniques: Ice dyeing; thickened dye through original Thermofax screens; textile paint through Thermofax screens; fusing, Inktense pens.
THE ROADS OFTEN TRAVELLED
©2021 Louise Wells
195cm H x 127cm W
Statement: Back and forth, back and forth, to kindy, primary then high school. This twice-daily routine along well-worn paths called the school run. One kid chatted, one sat in stony silence, another either sang along to the radio or napped. For 18 years. Then suddenly one day it stopped. Independent adults.
Materials: Recycled business shirts, woollen blanket (backing) silks, machine and embroidery threads.
Techniques: Print, machine stitch, cut away technique, finished with hand stitched Colonial knots.
Photographer: Josh Wells
© 2021 Brenda Wood
205cm H x 105cm W
Statement: Stand Fast - poem by Ian Coate (used with permission) Stand Fast our Aussie Diggers; we need you at the front. Our Freedoms demand maintenance; which you must bear the brunt. We don’t always appreciate the freedoms that you’ve won. We soon forget in peacetime the duties that you’ve done. But do your job in spite of us; ignore our ignorance. Defend us in our time of need with constant vigilance. For without you there to bar the pass, enemies will get through. And on that day we’ll wish we had, maintained our support for you.
Materials: Representation: Red wool –remembrance, Raw edges –symbol of PTSD, Cutouts –morse code of poem by Ian Coate, Hand cut –hard work (maintenance) by our service personnel, white on white text –hidden, underlying message (look deeper), Raw hemline –frayed soldiers – (coming undone), Removable backing - view message clearer.
Techniques: Wool, cotton, interfacing.
*The artist proposes to donate proceeds of sale to PTSD services
© 2021 Zara Zannettino
53.5cm H x 152.5cm W
Statement: With a flagrant disregard for blending into the sub-Saharan savanna plains, these inquisitive yet aloof Helmeted Guinea Fowl seem to defiantly say “What are you laughing at?” Which is quite ironic really, given they scavenge food from the manure of monkey troupes and display absurd physical attributes.
Materials: Commercial cotton fabrics. Fabric paint. Cotton and polyester threads. Cotton and wool-poly battings.
Techniques: Screen printed. Raw-edge fabric collage, without fusible webbing. Free-motion machine stitched for texture details and quilting.
Art Quilt Australia 2021 Awards
Art Quilt Australia 2021 seeks to promote excellence and originality in contemporary art quilts in Australia. Works were assessed for selection in terms of originality, composition, content and execution by a jury of acknowledged experts: Lisa Call, Julie Ryder and Bronwyn Coulston and then judged by an independent judge.Congratulations to the prize winners:
- OZQN Award of Excellence: And then there were three by Cathy Jack Coupland
- OZQN Award of Excellence, Highly Commended: Heated Boundaries by Ileana Soto
- Expressions: the Wool Quilt Prize: Ghost Blanket IV by Fiona Gavens
- Expressions: the Wool Quilt Prize, Highly Commended: Waverley-best for rest by Lynne Hargreaves
The Art Quilt Australia 2021 catalogue is available to purchase. The catalogue is 28 A4 pages with statements from the selectors and colour images of the 25 finalist artworks. All pricing is inclusive of postage (no tracking). For delivery to:
- Australia A$20
- New Zealand A$28
- Other Countries A$32
Pay by EFT/direct deposit (preferred) or by credit card via PayPal. No PayPal account required. Order online.
Exhibition Overview & Artist Insights
This is an edited recording of the Art Quilt Australia 2021 Zoom Event held in June 2021. It includes installation images from Shoalhaven Regional Gallery Nowra and commentary from 14 AQA artists including National Wool Museum Geelong Expressions Wool Quilt Award prize winner Fiona Gavens and the recipient of the OZQN Award of Excellence Cathy Jack Coupland. View on YouTube.