Art Quilts at the National Wool Museum
Last week I checked out the National Wool Museum in Geelong, especially to view an exhibition of intriquing and contrasting quilts, not designed for beds at all, but to hang on the wall. The tiny pics in the cataloque only give a clue to the design as the impact of the textures, and cutout layers of wool, felt, rayon, raw edges, stitching, dyed cloth, is so much more. There was knitting, embroidery, scribbles with yarn, tie-dying, lattices, raised, padded areas. Amazing stuff.
I have heard that quilts originated from a bundle of old clothes thrown onto a bed, then artistic women started to cut shapes and redesign a quilt, often into regular patterns. However at this quilt exhibition there was little of that.
One entitled 'Salt Bush' by Fiona Wright was made using hand dyed wool tops, silks, threads and pigment inks.
'Forest of Contrasts' was made with regular square shapes using tree shapes, one a lone pine at Ocean Grove, the other a River Red from Flinders Ranges.
The quilt I liked best was realistic from a distance, but close-up was made up of hundreds of little stitches with thick woollen yarns, felt,and cotton. Margaret Perkins called her artwork 'The River' and it was like a view from the sky of a river meandering through an arid land.
The fourth example I have given is by Anna Brown, 'Strata #2 The Mine' using wool fabrics, batt, wool bends and silk, and she was inspired by rock patterns and sediments re-organized by mining.