Friday, March 9, 2012


David Noonan 4
The Australian Tapestry Workshop participated with an open day in conjunction with the South Melbourne Street Fair a couple of weeks ago. I made the trip down to Melbourne on the train for the day to see the newly completed David Noonan tapestry. Although the weaving had been completed the colour palette was still set up on the table, along with some other images of works by David Noonan.
David Noonan 3
Imagery and some woven samples relating to the tapestry.
David Noona7
The tapestry is an absolute STUNNER there are no other words to describe it. An incredible example of sfumato, which my drawing teacher translated loosely as evaporation where one tonal value blends into the next without an edge to define it. Not an easy achievement in tapestry, woven by Cheryl Thornton and Emma Sulzer the tapestry is a testament to their skills as artists. The detail in the tapestry and supple tonal variations are just breathtaking, if you are a tapestry weaver reading this I am certain that you will agree.
David Noonan 1
The colour blending shows the mastery of the weavers, the tonal values in the bobbins are so close yet each one an individual. One of the weavers told me that they had to number their bobbins as they wove, just to confirm that they were using the right tones, as the colour blendings were so similar.
David Noona8
Detail, David Noonan, Untitled Size: 2.0 x 1.63m You can see more information about the making of this tapestry here.
A beautiful work in progress 'Kungkarrakalpa The Seven Sisters' from a painting by indigenous artist Anmanari Brown. Photos of this project can be found here.
David Noonan 2
Another David Noonan tapestry was on display, I had seen this tapestry reproduced in publications and on the internet, but I would have to say that none of the photo reproductions do justice to this tapestry. It is far more beautiful with so many wonderful colour blends, I found the background in the tapestry is just stunning, so much detail with so many soft blends which make the figures sit forward and more striking.
David Noonan 5
Designed by Australian artist David Noonan, woven at The Victorian Tapestry Workshop by Cheryl Thornton, Sue Batten and Amy Cornall in 2009
2.3m x 2.9m
David Noonan 6
Small sections of the tapestry are just beautiful. The amount of detail in this tapestry is just incredible.
David Noonan detail
Another detail.
It was not I that looked by Angela Brennan 2006
'It was not I that looked' Angela Brennan 2006 Size: 2.16 x 2.6m
Woven by Sue Batten, Amy Cornall, Pamela Joyce, Rebecca Moulton.
Brent Harris
It was certainly not all black and white at the workshop. A tapestry by the artist Brent Harris No 22 1.6 x 1.18m being woven by Sue Batten. You can follow the making of this tapestry here.
john wolseley
A new tapestry by the artist John Wolseley, commissioned by the Warrnambool Hospital. I love his work and it translates beautifully into tapestry. Details of the project can be found here. Follow the link to read more about the artist, his work is inspirational.
Although only a few centimeters had been woven you can already gain the feeling of this tapestry. Woven in wools and mercerized cottons this tapestry will be a stunner. This is the second time that I have traveled to Melbourne for the day to attend an open day at the workshop. You can read about the tapestries on display last year here. The Australian Tapestry Workshop now have a public page on Facebook here which is updated regularly. You can find the workshop's photo set on Flicker here to see insights into their work.


  1. We saw ATW's first collaboration with David Noonan when it came to Adelaide - I was awestruck!

    The new one is incredible too - I don't have words to describe how amazed I am ;)

  2. Thank you so much for sharing these Debbie. The tapestries are beautiful. I hope to visit the workshop one day myself.

  3. You should visit Victoria Rebecca, you can take yourself on a self guided tour of the city where you will see so MANY tapestries. There is no other city in the world where you can see so many contemporary tapestries in public spaces.

  4. Thanks for the fab review Debbie - we're so glad you could make it to the Workshop & enjoyed what you saw :)

  5. I have been visiting the workshop since the early 1980's but the open days are fantastic!

  6. Deb, I was unable to go to the open day. I did go to the workshop just prior and was blown away by the little I saw. I can't imaging doing something so tonal. Thanks for the pics and the links.


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