Friday, August 28, 2015


Our day in Melbourne this week would not have been complete without a visit to the Australian Tapestry Workshop.
The Kate Derum Award for Small Tapestries is on display and will continue until September 25th.
Although this years exhibition has a similar number of entries. The exhibition seemed to be a lot more spread out than I remember in previous years.
Wonderful tapestries, each one, so different from the others.
The exhibition seems to be hung with tapestries of similar colours grouped together.
Cool blues and soft browns, make this a most interesting part of the exhibition.
Congratulations to Marilyn Rea-Menzies from New Zealand for winning the Kate Derum award. A beautifully woven portrait of her doll. For those of us of a certain age, I feel that we can all relate to once having owned a doll with this kind of nylon hair!
Cresside Collette 'Three Transitions' 2014.
A beautiful suite of three tapestries woven in mercerized cotton. Making the images glow.
Marie-Thumette Brichard 'Blue Rocks' 2014
Beautifully woven with such subtle changes of blue.
Louise Martin 'Amara looked at the sun then the lay of the land 2013.
Soft transitions of colour. I have enjoyed reading Louise's articles about her tapestry and travels in the British Tapestry Group  publication 'Tapestry Weaver'
Rachel Hine 'Wild Ride' 2015. Rachel is a former student of the late Kate Derum and worked as a studio weaver at the Australian Tapestry Workshop. A wonderful lively tapestry with its subtle changes of colour and half passes, all make for a successful tapestry.
Velga Lukaza 'KISS' 2014. An interesting tapestry on many levels. Stitching and bead work adorn the surface of the tapestry. A gallery of her work can be seen here.

Judit Pázmány  "Old Fashioned Story' 2012. A stand out tapestry. Both for the fineness of the weaving and the mastery of construction.
Chris Cochius 'Tea time / time for tea' 2015. Chris is a senior weaver at the A.T.W.  An exquisite tapestry and make certain that you read the catalogue for the story behind this tapestry.

Jilly Edwards 'Glimpses and Divisions, Kestle Barton' 2015. A stunning suite of three small tapestries. Sadly taking photos without a flash the soft graduations of colour in this tapestry is a bit 

Two of my Facebook friends hanging side by side.
Left Emma Jo Webster 'In Thought' 2013. A lovely portrait with beautiful Chiaroscuro throughout the tapestry.
Right Janet Austin 'Forest Through The Trees' 2015. Beautifully executed tiny tapestry    
Anne Jackson 'The Witchcraft Series: Robin (familiar) 2014. This tapestry is built up using a method of knotting. Wonderfully rich colour changes abound throughout the tapestry.
Julia Rapinoe 'Moondance' 2015 Gorgeous colours and use of eccentric weaving.
Jane Freear-Wyld 'Sea Splash' 2015. I absolutely loved this tapestry, it successfully portrays everything about wild ocean waves.
You can download the complete catalogue and read the selected artist's statements here. 

The inception of the Kate Derum Award, began with a group of people who wanted to recognize Kate's major contribution to the field of tapestry weaving, after she so sadly passed away in 2008.
This is an amazing tribute to her, but I feel that the name 'Kate Derum' will in the future become synonymous with the award. Please don't take this the wrong way, but when you visit a gallery or museum and read... the Joseph Brown collection...etc etc. You tend to only become familiar with what the collection contains and maybe know nothing about the donor who collected and donated it. 
I met Kate Derum way back in 1997, at a talk about her work that she gave at the Ararat Regional Art Gallery. Me an ex tapestry student and a new Mum with a 4 month old baby. Kate was very taken with the way that Coen was engaged with the 'floor talk' and the exhibition around him. I remember that Kate picked him up out of my arms and walked him around the exhibition, having a private chat on the way. I found her to be very articulate, warm and most of all encouraging. To her students, it has been a great loss. Maybe instead of thinking about her name as a major international award for 'tapestry' we should think about the artist behind it. Take some time to look through the website that has been made in her honor. Only twenty years of tapestry practice, so sadly cut short, here.

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