The Mona Hessing Tribute Project
Julie Armstrong, Alison Bogg, Julie Brennan, Lorna Crane, Cathie Griffith, Roslyn Holmes, Stephanie Simko and Mischi West
30 October 2020 – 31 January 2021
Opening 6pm Friday 30 October 2020
Please note: Due to venue capacity requirements, opening night is a ticketed event. Tickets are free. Admittance without a ticket will not be permitted.
Shimmering is a selected exhibition by eight members of the Eurobodalla Fibre Textile and Artists Group (EFTAG), inspired by one of Australia’s leading fibre artists, Mona Hessing, who sadly passed away in 2001.
Each artist pays tribute to Hessing and her strong connection to the NSW south coast town of Tuross Head, her life as an artist, and the impact she had on contemporary Australian and international fibre art during her lifetime. The exhibition includes 2D pieces, objects and large 3D forms and installations. Works are individual responses crafted from materials such as natural and hand-dyed braided sisal, hand-spun wool and raw silk, kindly donated by Barbara Romalis from the Mona Hessing Estate.
The artists commenced a series of experiential workshops in early 2019 that explored ways of working with the materials. This process-driven way of working meant that each artist had opportunities to ‘let the materials speak’. The connection between the artists and Hessing’s legacy deepened during a visit to Mona Reserve in Tuross Head, which sits on the edge of the old Hessing family property called ‘Shimmering’. By walking in Hessing’s landscape, the artists developed a true sense of place and how it fit into Hessing’s life as an artist.
About the artists
Julie has creativity in her blood, having grown up within a family of seamstresses, shipwrights, carpenters and painters. Her arts practice is diverse, incorporating textiles, printmaking, basketry, jewellery, painting, sketching and photography. Julie gains much inspiration from Eurobodalla’s forests, coasts, colours and history, having lived in the area for nearly 40 years. Her works have found homes both locally, nationally and internationally.
Trained as a designer at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), Alison has worked with Melbourne Theatre Company, Opera Australia, Handspan Visual Theatre, Australian Dance Theatre, ABC TV, SBS and Channel 9. She was a specialist costumier for the opening ceremonies of the 2000 Sydney Olympics and the 2006 Asian Games, as well as touring productions Saturday Night Fever and We Will Rock You in Australia and Japan. Alison enjoys developing work that explores crossovers between wearable art, costume design, sculpture and painting.
Having worked with fibre and textiles since the late 1970s, Julie began exploring felt as a medium and exhibited her work for the first time in 2006. Studying under Australian and international tutors, Julie’s work encompasses 2D and 3D forms, recycled materials and wearable art. Her work has appeared annually in the EFTAG Wearable Art Parade since 2011, and she particularly enjoys the journey of creating and the fascinating ‘conversation’ between herself and her evolving artwork.
Lorna has a Bachelor of Creative Arts and has exhibited extensively over the past decade. Her work is held in public and private collections across Australia, Europe, USA and Canada, including the National Irish Visual Arts Library in Dublin, Bundanon Trust, Cowra Regional Art Gallery and the Illawarra Art Prize.
A teacher for 35 years, Cathie has maintained an interest in art and textiles, working in the wardrobe department of Opera Australia and the Australian Ballet, and expanding her knowledge through courses and professional development in art and textile techniques. She has travelled extensively, observing art and textile styles in the US, southeast Asia, China, Morocco and Europe, as well as mentoring and teaching textile students.
Roslyn has immersed herself in her own practice after a career as a secondary school visual arts teacher. Sculptural weaving with plant materials has become a focus, and this meditative practice has continued to be a central part of her work, along with painting and printmaking. Roslyn works intuitively, using the landscape for inspiration, exploring memory, identity and a sense of place.
Stephanie studied design in the UK, going on to become an interior designer and co-founder of the multi-disciplinary practice Springboard Design in Bristol. She has worked on design projects with three architectural practices, both nationally and internationally, as well as teaching in Interior Design at the University of Canberra. After moving to the NSW south coast in 2015, Stephanie delved into felting, printmaking and collage, drawing on her design background to inform her exploration of form, light, colour and space.
Born in Germany, Mischi has lived in Australia for almost 50 years. Her love and fascination with textiles started at a very young age, when women of her village would rip up old clothes to turn them into floor rugs. Mischi has been a spinner, weaver and knitter for many years, and is a founding member of EFTAG. Her work conveys the natural beauty that surrounds her in the stunning coastal environment.