The New Quilt 2021 is a juried, survey exhibition presented by QuiltNSW. It showcases the art of quilting and reflects the richness and diversity of contemporary expressions of the quilt medium in Australia. The exhibition opened on 6 February 2021 and continues until 11 April 2021 at Hawkesbury Regional Gallery, Windsor, NSW. As part of the TNQ Exhibition Subcommittee, I have been immersed in organising the exhibition and associated public program for the past three years. I am honoured that two of my artworks were selected for exhibition: Acuity #5: Zemblanity (173x132cm) and Integrifolia #7: Emergence (168x87cm).
It’s always a thrill to present your artwork in a gallery setting but especially in the midst of a pandemic. Hawkesbury Regional Gallery is a generous space and the configuration is open and well-lit. The curatorial team from Hawkesbury Regional Gallery have designed a thoughtful and engaging exhibition layout.
Acuity #5: Zemblanity
My Acuity series considers the nature of sight and different ways of seeing. The call for entries for The New Quilt encouraged artists to “Think big, think bold – be adventurous! After working out some design and construction issues with smaller works, I was keen to amp up the scale and create an eye that is larger than life.
Eyes are remarkable organs. The sensory membrane of the retina contains millions of light sensitive photoreceptor cells that receive and organise visual information and send signals onto the brain for visual recognition.
I commenced Acuity #5 in early 2020 and substantially completed the top layer by the end of February. As I worked on the extensive machine quilting and freeform cross-stitch during Australia’s form of lockdown, the meaning of the work pivoted with the pandemic and deepened. I was engrossed in small details along the way. When I stepped back and viewed the completed work in its entirety, a new picture emerged.
As we survey the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging to process. It seems like we are constantly recalibrating perceptions to accommodate the new normal. The outlook is suffused with zemblanity – the faculty of making unhappy, unlucky and expected discoveries that are arise predictably by design. Sheer unrelenting pandemic metrics bring unpleasant, non-surprises both socially and economically. It goes beyond mere spectatorship – our lives have been materially altered.
Integrifolia #7: Emergence
The view from my studio is framed on the right hand side by a large integrifolia banksia (coastal banksia) tree that is endemic to this region and provides sustenance for the abundant bird life including black and white cockatoos.
The cone-like fruits of the coastal banksia embody spaces of potentiality as the jostling chambers open up to release their seeds. Each cone is distinctive with its own lenticular patterns and design possibilities.
I designed this work on my iPad as a guide, choosing a long vertical format to mimic the elongated form of a banksia cone. While earlier works in this series concentrated on the elliptical shapes, this time I experimented with adding an outline for extra dimensionality and to draw the eye into the chambers.
The work is entirely pieced and intensively machine stitched. I am really happy with the how the lighting at Hawkesbury Regional Gallery picks up the texture of the stitching.
Meet the Artist!
I will be at the gallery for Meeting the Artist Thursday between 1 and 3pm on Thursday 18 March 2021. Visitors are welcome to drop by any time but booking is recommended to assist the gallery in managing COVID-19 social distancing protocols. Book online.
If you can’t get to the gallery in person, you might enjoy the videos on the new QuiltNSW YouTube Channel including my two short presentations.
The New Quilt 2021 Resources:
- QuiltNSW website
- QuiltNSW YouTube Channel
- The New Quilt Online Gallery
- The New Quilt Catalogue
- The New Quilt Family Guide
- Search and Find Activity Sheet
- Hawkesbury Regional Gallery
Plan an art excursion to The New Quilt 2021 before it closes on Sunday 11 April 2021!
- Gallery hours: Open 6 days a week Monday, Wednesday-Friday 10am-4pm and Saturday-Sunday 10am-3pm. Closed on Tuesday and public holidays.
- Address: Deerubbin Centre (Top Floor) 300 George St Windsor
- Access: Walking distance from Windsor Railway Station. Free undercover parking is available for 47 cars in the Deerubbin Centre car park. Free on-street parking in surrounding streets. Please check parking restrictions.