Leaves of Distinction: Wilma Simmons

Leaves of Distinction: Wilma Simmons

Exhibition inspired by tea

A simple cup of tea was the inspiration for an exhibition by fibre artist Wilma Simmons that will open at the new Newcastle East premises of Timeless Textiles Gallery in September.

After water, tea is the most consumed beverage in the world and crosses all cultures. Well-loved local artist Wilma, who is presenting her second exhibition at Timeless Textiles, loves everything about tea and drinks it every day.

She was inspired to create the pieces for her exhibition, entitled Leaves of Distinction, by the experience of drinking tea, as well as by literature about the comforting beverage.

“I love the smell, taste and experience of tea – all types of tea,” she explains. “In most of the world, drinking and offering tea signifies trust and friendship. Drinking a cup of tea means warmth, peace and comfort to me and obviously to many others who write lyrically about their tea experiences.”

In 2012, Wilma’s sister gave her a book of poetry by Elizabeth Darcy-Jones describing various tea-leaf types as people. While sipping tea and imagining the teas’ personalities, Wilma also saw them as art dolls. The other literature that has inspired the exhibition ranges from the sublime – the tea poetry of Lu Yu (c750): “tea…. does more than brace the body. It opens the eye of the spirit, it suffuses one with peace…” to the ridiculous by Edward Lear:

There was an old man of Dumbree,
Who taught little owls to drink tea;
For he said, ‘To eat mice,
Is not proper or nice’
That amiable man of Dumbree.

The exhibition commences on 18 September, with an official opening at the new location for Timeless Textiles


18 Sep 2014 - 12 Oct 2014


All Day