Cloth Inc. A Thin Line
East Gippsland Art Gallery is proud to present A Thin Line, on show from 2nd February until 4th March. Featuring the works of four artists Melanie Hill, Deb McArdle, Glenys Mann and Nonie Sutcliffe. Collectively known as Cloth Inc, these four women work with fabric and stitch.
Although having known each other for around 15 years through workshops and forums, it wasn’t until 2015 whilst travelling in a car to a fibre textile show in Wangaratta that they decided to form an exhibition group called Cloth Inc.
Glenys Mann, is described affectionately by fellow exhibitor Nonie Sutcliffe as ‘the glue that binds Cloth Inc. together’. She is regarded as a pioneer of fibre art in Australia and founded Fibre Arts Australia which she has run for 25 years. Running several textile conferences a year in Ballarat and Sale, bringing international artists to the Australian fibre art community.
Although all women are geographically distanced from one another (Melbourne, Callignee, and Ballarat) the bond between them is unique and strong. They hold regular get-togethers which they call gatherings, and when together they always stitch. Nonie Sutcliffe sits and works on her 4 metre long ‘Listening Cloth’. She enjoys the conversation, the repetitive nature of stitch and the use of line in her work. All four women have a passion for textiles, particularly the use of pre-loved fabric. Deb McArdle uses antique lace and vintage damask table cloths as a canvas for her meditative stitch. Melanie Hill embroiders vintage Sanderson fabric and re-purposes antique furniture into works of art. And Glenys Mann uses Boro cloth, old Japanese fabric that has been mended and re-mended.
Glenys Mann explains that all four women ‘have a need to make’. The artists don’t sit at sewing machines, instead choosing to hand stitch. Embracing the fabric, the needle and the thread. They call it Lap Work and Glenys describes this process as ‘meditative’. ‘It is the softest and most giving technique any artist could want. It brings you into yourself. It’s like an Opera’.
Glenys, Nonie, Melanie and Deb have an enthusiasm and love for their work that is profound. Artist’s who will never tire of the medium they work in. This is an exhibition not to be missed.
A Thin Line runs from 2 February until 4 March with the opening reception on Saturday 4th 12pm – 2pm at the East Gippsland Art Gallery, Bairnsdale. All are welcome and entry is free
Glenys Mann Boro: Red Mend(detail)
Deb McArdle Linear 1
Nonie Sutcliffe Listening cloth (detail)
Seems that when Nonie and I get together the juices flow as to what else we can bring to the Fibre Arts arena.
Well not just any kind of blog but a type of "magazine"!
These blogs will tell the stories of the fibre/textile artists that are a part of our Fibre Arts world or simply stories about what exhibitions will be coming up.
So...in the coming year there will be random stories and events coming your way from the Fibre Arts Blog...well let's call it a 'magazine', shall we?
Claire Wellesley-Smith...Slow Stitching
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