Artist in Residence

Buy one of the quilts online

See the quilts on exhibit:


Opening night — Friday 28th November
at 6 pm


Primrose Park Gallery
Matora Lane (off Young Street)
Cremorne, NSW

Open daily 10 am to 4.20 pm to December 5th.

Artist in residence

I am artist in residence for North Sydney Council. For 6 months the Council provides me with a studio that I share with basket maker Meredith Peach. Our commitment to Council is to have an exhibition of work completed during the residency at the Primrose Park Gallery, Matora Lane off Young Street in Cremorne, NSW opening Friday 28th November at 6 p.m. and continuing 10 am to 4.20 p.m. daily to December 5th.

It is the most fantastic opportunity to play without considering exhibition themes as dictated by curator or client requirements. It also gives me permission to concentrate on my own work.

so to have my fabric accessible in a studio and visible is an inspiration

Four years ago we moved into a small apartment and I lost my studio. Working on a quilt at home now involves spreading the activity over three rooms. My fabric is stored under beds, in cupboards, in the garage and in the garbage room (not used for garbage, obviously), so to have it accessible in a studio and visible is an inspiration.

The environment at Primrose Park is conducive to work. An old sewerage works that has been adaptively reused for studio and gallery space parallels the tradition of recycling and making do that is the backbone of the quilt making tradition in Australia.

Across the playing field are three pine trees, which immediately called to mind my granddaughter’s claim that she was “happy as three tall trees”. The three tall trees form the quilt design for some of the quilts, like Coup de Pied a la Lune, a crazypatch quilt.

The crazypatch is an abstract of apartment buildings at night, the border the bitumen of the surrounding road. Three cats in the trees represents the families of my three sons, Terry and I are the birds, the stars and moon are the symbols of two of my sons.

The weeds covering the hillside opposite the studio are represented in “Ground Cover”. Fabrics are strip pieced together in a colour study, pieces left over from other quilts and rescued from the floor when their weight broke a towel rack that had displayed them. This was the first sense of the term “ground cover”. They include rows of rectangles, that here read as brick paths through the garden.  Weeds are strewn across the surface in quilting lines. The border fabric comes from Africa.

The harbour at the bottom of the reclaimed land suggested Tide with its quilting pattern of water moving across seaweed. The large scale block pattern recalls the very simple designs of nineteenth century Australian quilts. Another quilt based in tradition is Grandmother’s Flower Garden. The hexagon is the shape with the largest number of sides that tessalates with itself. Seven fabrics come together. I have worked in triads because I have three sons. The garden path with its bush landscape colour and irregular geometry firmly places the quilt in an Australian landscape.

Diamantina is the name of a collection of fabric samples that I cut into triangles as had Caroline West cut tailors samples in an old quilt in the Powerhouse Museum. In Diamantina: anabranch, my triangles are arranged in a colour study and the flow of the river delineated by quilting lines, with an anabranch in less prominent colours. Diamantina: anastomosing stream pattern is a development of this theme, the regularity abandonned to beeter express the sinuous curves of the river and the everchanging river bed expressed in clearer or greyed off colours according to the amount of water available.

Japanese indigo dyed by a master Japanese dyers as well as shibori dyeing and resist dyeing designs, traditional plaids and stripes are combined into several quilts. Quilt designs are sourced from the quilting on Japanese firemen’s coats, auspicious images in the quilts, the irregular grid developed by cattle moving between waterholes in outback Australia (which is suggested by the shibori dyeing) and, where the fabic is so beautifully shibori dyed that it would be criminal to cut it up or impose a contradictory quilting design, the fabric design itself.

Hunterwasser and aboriginal art work remind me of corestone weathering in granite, tree rings and varved clays and my corestone series has led onto Apartment, a map of our house showing some of the activities. I have been accumulating hand dyed fabrics from around the world for years and their variations enrich this quilt.

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