Leaves of Distinction, Wilma Simmons

Wilma Simmons

Artist Statement

I am a mixed media and textile artist because what I do makes me happy and ‘reminds me that I have a soul.’  It took me a long time to take up an art practice as I worked in a diverse range of jobs before settling to teaching and high school administration as a career.  I think we are all born artists but it takes some of us longer to develop and in my case, not until my “retirement” in 2005.

  Some of the artistic highlights of the last few years have been:

  • teaching creative workshops at various levels and in diverse places;
  • exhibiting, solo and collaboratively;
  • co-curating and exhibiting “Stitched Up”, and “Stitched Up in Sydney”  – an exhibition and installation celebrating the lives of child inmates of The Newcastle Industrial School  (1867-1871).
  • co-ordinating community art programs including a village women’s project in Papua New Guinea and anti-domestic violence  and homelessness projects with Timeless Textiles Gallery and a short artist residency at Studio Artes , Hornsby.  

My art works are “handmade treasures”, inspired by special people, political and cultural  issues and a sense of place and heritage.   I like working with a mix of materials, especially those which are naturally found and recycled.   

I hope that my art celebrates diversity, with a harmonious mixture of techniques, materials and ideas and will encourage others to create. 


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