I have been privileged to observe the inspiring evolution of Timeless Textiles, from the time it was merely a wistful idea.
Anne Kempton has facilitated a collegial working relationship with local and international fibre and textile artists, developed and maintained through respect, passion and common interest.
– David Eastburn
The breath within me – Anita Johnson
Graffiti fabric insp Melbourne – Els van Baarle
6pm, Thursday 17th March 2022
The Lock Up, Newcastle
We have written a book Finding Your Thread to celebrate all that we collectively have achieved over the last decade of Timeless Textiles Gallery.
The book will be launched from 6 to 7pm on 17th March 2022 in the Men’s Exercise Yard at the Lock Up.
This exquisite book showcases the stories of 20 well-loved fibre artists from around the world. These stories tell of the many ways we find ourselves through being creative. Each of the artists’ stories features beautiful imagery of their artworks.
Finding Your Thread can be pre-ordered or you can purchase your book at the launch.
Come and meet some of the artists and co-writers Anne Kempton and Amy Lovat.
About the Book
When I launched Timeless Textiles Gallery a decade ago, my intention was simple – to make a difference for fibre artists, and to create a place where we could all stitch ourselves together again. Over the years, a community has been growing – of people finding themselves through creativity. That’s what inspired this book.
Finding Your Thread is a book for you: about finding your voice and your creative thread, by dipping into each of these stories.
Using stories told by twenty well-loved national and international artists who work primarily in fibre and textiles, we champion the art of finding yourself through creativity. I could write twenty of these books and it still wouldn’t be enough to showcase and give voice to the many incredible artists I had the pleasure of meeting and knowing over the last decade.
My hope is that this will light a spark within you and help uncover the richness of our creativity and your place in the artistic world – one that we can all be a part of. I also hope the beautiful imagery of their artworks also inspires you to think… Maybe I could do that… What would it take for me to create in that way?
I chose the name ‘Finding Your Thread’ because I’ve had the incredible privilege of witnessing people over this last decade find their voice, their story, their sense of self through creating textile art including myself. All it takes is one moment, one thread, to find what was lost. To weave together the threads of the past, creating a new present. To feel whole again.
You can dip in and out of any of the four sections in this book, and each might have a message just for you – Observing; Gaining Skills; Belonging and Finding Your Voice. You’ll read about the wonderful Wednesday Makers Group: women who have come together to raise money and awareness of important causes through community art. Some of the artists in these pages have used their art to heal – themselves and others – and to create a social movement. One artist has worked with groups of men from all walks of life to unlock their creativity and inspire connection. Another artist taught fibre art in prisons, another in mental institutions. Another still is collaborating with her daughter, propagating creations and their relationship hand-in-hand.
Finding your Thread is about passion… my passion for showcasing the wonderment of fibre art and creating and nurturing an intentional international community around fibre art. It’s also about celebrating success, joy and happiness. Finally, this book is a celebration of the incredible contribution fibre artists make to this world. I hope you enjoy it.
– Anne Kempton
Innocents – Eszter Bornemisza
Doorways – Cathy Jack Coupland
Finding Your Thread Book
Local, national and international fibre artists including:
Brett Alexander (Australia)
Brett is an artextiles maker with more than forty years’ experience as a visual arts, craft and design educator and practitioner. In 1991, he received his Master of Creative Arts from the University of Wollongong and since has been exhibiting nationally and internationally. He has taught at infants, primary, secondary and tertiary levels in Australia and internationally. For thirty years, Brett held executive administrative and teaching roles at the University of Newcastle, Australia.
Els van Baarle (Netherlands)
Els was a textile artist/teacher of surface design, teaching all over the world. She has won many awards and prizes with her large-scale art-cloth pieces. Her work has been widely published with artworks in private and public museums.
Lanny Bergner (United States)
Lanny is a mixed-media sculptor, installation, fiber and sculptural basketry artist. He received his BFA in sculpture from the University of Washington in 1981 and an MFA in sculpture from Tyler School of Art, Temple University in 1983. His work is in museum collections including the Seattle Art Museum; Museum of Art and Design, NY; Fuller Craft Museum, MA; and The Central Museum of Textile, Łódź, Poland. He maintains a studio on Fidalgo Island near Anacortes, WA.
Eszter Bornemisza (Hungary)
Eszter is a fibre artist living in Budapest, Hungary. She trained as a mathematician, earned a PhD and worked in the field for twenty years. Since the mid-1990s, she has been creating quilts, large-scale translucent works, 3D objects and installations mainly from newspaper and vintage cloth. Her works have been widely exhibited in Juried and solo shows around the world.
Jette Clover (Belgium)
Jette is a mixed-media artist. Her formal education is in journalism and art history, and most of her quilts and collages deal with language and writing. Since 1998, she has worked full-time as a studio artist and exhibited and taught workshops widely in Europe, USA and Australia.
Cathy Jack Coupland (Australia)
Born in country NSW, Cathy’s always held an interest in textiles, yet it wasn’t until completing the Proficiency Certificate with the Embroiderers Guild of NSW that embroidery and design became her main focus, leading to exhibiting and teaching. Working by machine, creating large works covered in stitch, Cathy also hand embroiders generating contrasts in texture and dimension.
Lorna Crane (Australia)
Lorna completed a Bachelor of Creative Arts graduating with Distinction. Lorna has been involved with many artist-run initiatives and community arts projects, including Art Arena Gallery Inc, Megalo Access Arts plus ANCA Dickson studio complex in Canberra. During this time, she participated in many solo and group exhibitions. She moved to South Pambula NSW during 2003 to set up her studio and to work full time on her practice.
Fiona Duthie (Canada)
Fiona Duthie is a textile artist based on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia. She works primarily in wool felt, exploring material combinations with charred wood, ceramics, paper and mark-making. She looks for physical engagement between the artist, viewer, artwork, through movement and relationship with the natural elements. Fiona exhibits regularly and is passionate about teaching, both internationally and online.
Nicola Henley (Ireland)
Born in Bristol, England, Nicola Henley trained at Goldsmiths College London and since 1984 has exhibited widely in the UK, Ireland, Japan, Australia and the USA. She has been based in Ireland since 1991. Her interest in nature, particularly birds and their movement, translates into large wall-hung textiles made by dyeing, screen-printing and painting cotton calico and texturing the surface with hand and machine embroidery.
Judy Hooworth (Australia)
Judy studied at the National Art School from 1963–66 and began making patchwork quilts and stitched textiles soon after. She has maintained a studio art quilt practice for more than thirty-five years. Judy’s quilts have been exhibited and published in Australia and internationally; she’s a well-known tutor, author and lecturer at home and overseas and is represented in many public and private collections in Australia, the UK and the USA.
Susan Hotchkis (Scotland)
Susan studied at Manchester Metropolitan University where she earned a BA (Hons) in Embroidery and a Master Degree in Textiles. She lectured in Manchester, teaching Art and Textiles to adults and pre-degree students. In 2007, she left teaching and now works at home in her studio on the Black Isle in the Highlands of Scotland.
Anita Johnson (Australia)
Anita Johnson’s art practice is concerned with the brokenness of things, notions of repair, and experiences of displacement, longing and reunion. Represented by Defiance Gallery, Sydney, since 2002, she has a Bachelor of Visual Arts, Sydney College of the Arts, 1993, and will complete a Doctorate of Creative Arts at University of Wollongong in 2023.
Tim Johnson (Spain)
Tim combines a deep respect for traditional basketmaking with his own innovations and enjoys using a wide variety of materials and techniques gleaned from his travels, research and his own creative practice. Originally from Newcastle Upon Tyne, England, Tim has lived in various parts of England and Ireland and is currently based in the northeast of Spain near Barcelona.
Anne Kelly (United Kingdom)
Anne is an award-winning artist, author and tutor. Trained in Canada and at Goldsmiths College in London, she creates wall-hangings and objects using a mixture of mixed-media collage and hand and machine embroidery. Her inspirations are taken from travel, memory, nature and especially folk art.
Anne Leon (Australia)
Anne is a South African-born Australian, a passionate textile artist for more than thirty years, utilising many techniques, including silkscreen and Block-printing, painting, Batik, Shibori and dyeing. The versatility and diversity of her work has earned her numerous large commissions, from interior designers, architects and couturiers, within Australia and Internationally. Plant- dyeing is particularly fascinating for Anne; each piece is a unique work of art, signed by nature.
Sharon Peoples (Australia)
Sharon has worked as an artist in Canberra for
more than twenty years, exhibiting nationally and internationally as well as taking on commissioned work. She has had ten solo exhibitions since 2010 and has also participated in more than twenty group shows. Her work has been collected by national (National Gallery of Australia, National Museum of Australia and Parliament House Collection) and state institutions.
Julie Ryder (Australia)
Julie is a visual artist who works across the disciplines of textiles, drawing, digital printing, painting, glass and assemblage. Initially trained in science, she retrained as a textile designer in 1990, and over the past thirty years her arts practice has evolved in response to artistic opportunities and arts residencies, expanding her visual language by working with new media, new challenges and experiences.
Wilma Simmons (Australia)
Wilma is a textile and mixed-media artist in Newcastle, NSW. After a long career in education and training in contemporary clays, Wilma is now focused on fibre art, exhibiting solo and in group shows. She is committed to raising awareness of social justice and equity issues through participation in community art projects at Timeless Textiles.
Sylvia Watt (Australia)
Sylvia is a teacher, artist, mother and grandmother. All of these roles challenge, nurture, expand, confront, and above all bring meaning into her life. One role drifts into the other that often results in clarity. The artist’s way is often difficult, but for Sylvia it’s been one she’s grateful for every day.
Meredith Woolnough (Australia)
Meredith Woolnough is a visual artist from Newcastle, Australia, best known for her nature- inspired embroideries. Meredith has developed a unique sculptural embroidery technique that uses a freehand machine embroidery technique and a fabric that dissolves in water to create her iconic lace-like embroidery art.
Anne Kempton (Australia)
Anne is a fibre artist and a gallerist of Australia’s only commercial fibre art gallery, Timeless Textiles. Anne is dedicated to raising the collectability and wonderment of fibre art, as well as creating communities around social change. Being a lover of cooking, melding raw materials & ideas together to create something new is one of her greatest joys.
Amy Lovat (Australia)
Amy is a writer and editor, and founder of the social enterprise Secret Book Stuff. She has a PhD in English and Writing from the University of Newcastle, where she taught creative writing for many years. Amy is a creative entrepreneur with a passion for storytelling, change-making, and helping incredible humans find their voice.
Jess Jones (Australia)
Jess is a tech translator, intuitive designer, quality conversationalist and passionate birder. Based on Wonnarua Country, Jess is endlessly solving problems for people in all walks of life, while still finding time to play with her cattle dogs, cook up a storm and explore nature with her wife. She lives by “it takes the time it takes” and seeks out opportunities to extend her thinking through creativity and community.
David Eastburn (Australia)
David is a social anthropologist. He has worked with rural communities in the Murray-Darling Basin and Papua New Guinea for five decades in the areas of education, communication, social-memory, whole of community asset-assessment, community capacity realization and social-ecological systems resilience. His doctorate (ANU 2010) examined the ‘power-politics’ of capacity realization.