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Newsletter July 2008

Dear ALL

Dates to diarise:

  • 11 July 2008 - 22 August. Objekt Gallery - Knitting exhibition.
  • 16 - 20 July Sewula retreat
  • 18 August Fibreworks paperwork submitted to Helga. More on this later. Please find the Entry Form at the end of the letter.
  • Physical submission/delivery of work. More on this later
  • August 23 Saturday Hanging of Fibreworks at artSPACE durban .
  • 25 August Monday 18hoo. Andrew Verster to open Fibreworks V
  • 25 August - 13 September Fibreworks V at artSPACE Durban. More on this later
  • 31 August. WasteArt submissions. More on this later
  • 13 September 2pm Knockdown of Fibreworks.
  • 5 September. Submission of entry materials for Quilt National 2009 USA.
  • 2 - 7 September. WasteArt Expo. More on this later
  • 8 - 14 September 2008: National Quilt Festival in Gauteng.
  • 18 - 21 September 2008 14th European Patchwork meeting in France.
  • 4 October Notice of preliminary acceptance for Quilt National 09
  • 15 October Deadline for arrival for final jury and photography Quilt National

    Next meeting: Saturday 19 July 2008 at Sewula

    Members present Meeting Friday 23 May 2008

    Leonie Malherbe, Jeanette Gilks, Margaret Ruxton, Sue Physick, Annette McMaster, Judy Breytenbach, Jean Powell, Sue Stevenson, Odette Tolksdorf, Santie McIntosh

    Apologies: Helga Beaumont, Rosalie Dace, Jutta Faulds


  • Celia DeVilliers

  • Celia writes:
    I have recently been traveling all over SA to adjudicate the ABSA L'Atelier awards. I am the National judge this year as Jeremy Wafer from Wits pulled out at the last minute (I was only going to be the main judge next year) This has been very exciting and a huge responsibility, the first prize for an artist between 21 and 35 years old is R110,000-00 and six months in Paris! It has been a privilege to select the best work from young artists and to see what their main thematic concerns are at present. I have also met all the 'Art Police' and some art lecturers and top artists in the country - hats off to them they are doing a great job! The head of the Sculpture Department at Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth, David Jones actually knew about my involvement with fibre art, said he once wrote an article about us when there was an exhibition in PE!

    I am going to a Mythology Conference at the University of Grenoble in France in September to present a research paper on Mythology and Shamanism in Contemporary Performance Art. It is the week after the European Patchwork meeting, so I am able to take the Innovative Threads exhibition with me.

  • ElaineBarnard, Cornelia Robinson, Jenny Hearn, Sheila Walwyn and Jeanette Bartlett

  • Congratulations to all of the above for being finalists in the Beadex 2008 Design Excellence Competition. Jeanette Bartlett won Best on Show for her 'Peacock Exuberance.'

  • Masters: Art Quilts

  • Here is an interesting snippet form an email I received from Ray Hemachandra, Senior Editor, Lark Books about the Masters: Art Quilts book that has recently been published. This book features some of the work of Jenny Hearn and Jeanette Gilks.

    "I also have exciting news to report: Masters: Art Quilts has received a strong review from the leading booksellers trade magazine, Publishers Weekly. It begins: "Art quilts have long since moved from covering beds to hanging on walls, and this collection of 40 artists' works, gathered and introduced by (Martha) Sielman-executive director of Studio Art Quilts Associates and an art quilter herself-is ample evidence why. Ranging from the United States and Canada through Europe to Israel, South Africa, Japan and New Zealand, these quilters show the beauty and imagination of fine art and a vast variety of styles and materials." Read the full review at:"

  • Rosalie Dace

  • Rosalie is at present in the USA teaching and promoting the textile arts. Thanks, Rosalie, for taking some of our work to the States and showing it off! In addition Rosalie was nominated Teacher of the Year 2008 by the Professional Quilter Magazine. Well done!


  • Mark In (g) Time

    I hear that some folk out there are a bit stressed about the themed show:
    Mark in (g) Time as printed in the November 2007 Newsletter. Please don't stress! Remember that ANY artwork that you produce is a Mark in Time in the broadest sense of the word. Here I tease out some of the meanings of the words that could be helpful:

    Mark as a noun: physical trace, evidence of, physical thing, fleshed out idea. A mark is an incarnation of something. And of course it's a Name too for a very specific meaning. Marking as a verb: the act of mark making, the act of doing. ALL artworks are a confirmation of the Act of Doing/Making and therefore ALL our artworks are our marks in a sense… OUR marks that make a scratch upon the earth. What kind of scratch do YOU make? The theme calls you to elaborate upon your scratches…Some of the marks/art works we see in galleries might Make a Mark in the sense that they possibly say something significant or reMARKable. Think of the reMARKS evident in political and feminist work… play with words too, if you like…

    Time. Perhaps time can represents a particular CONTEXT? All the work we do/artists do is a product of our time. Think of IN time OUT of time, or marking time; waiting… think how the Present time waits between the Past and the Future. What/who are YOU waiting for? For those who are still drawing a blank - although I cannot imagine who - go and look up the words in various dictionaries.

    What prompted this marking time idea is that some people enjoy the challenge that a theme can present and at the Sewela last year a number of us became acutely aware of the inexorable passage of time and layering of time upon time, whether it was the bitter/sweet memories of past retreats at Sewula and the imminent sense of change and loss or the visits some of us paid to the various grave sites on the property - also symbols of change and loss but belonging to another century.

    The theme Mark In (g) Time thus alludes to metaphorical and literal interpretations of the theme and also gives SOME people an opportunity to interpret the theme quite specifically. Perhaps the theme has triggered something in your past? At any rate it's about time to consider the Theme Lovers!


    Thanks Odette for offering to do the invitation for the exhibition. You will all be receiving your invite by email in due course

    Dana Biddle has written an article for 'Stitches 'n Bears ' about the Fibreworks V exhibition. Here it is ;

    "Fibreworks V, the 5th biennial exhibition presented by members of a group of contemporary South African fibre artists, will open at artSPACE durban on the 25th August and will run through to 13th September 2008. The exhibition will be opened by well known South African artist Andrew Verster. Over the years, the members of this group have made quite a name for themselves and much of their work can be found in galleries, museums and private collections around the world.

    Be sure not to miss it! Thanks Dana


    I am happy to write this. It will appear in the gallery alongside the list of participating artists.

    Press. Please send Helga any good quality images of your work. They need to be in the region of about 4OO kb. Remember artists in their studio make good images too! We will send off the pics to Karen who will send them to the press nearer the time

    Submission/delivery of work

    Please have a look at the November 2007 newsletter and refresh your memories regarding YOUR RERSPONSIBILITIES regarding submission of work.

    Entry Form. Please find the Entry form at the end of the letter. Email this form to Helga by the 18th August and in addition, attach a physical copy to EACH artwork that you submit. Please note that there is NO ENTRY FEE.

    Submit your shortened, updated CV if applicable. Email it to Helga. Those KZN artists who exhibited at the Winchester Gallery can use the up-to-date CV's that Sue Winchester compiled. These will be placed in the updated Fibreworks file that will be on show at the exhibition for interested members of the public.

    Please note carefully the submission dates for our National show. Helga is happy to use her home as the collection point so please make sure that your work arrives at her house on or before Friday 22nd August if you are living in another province, far away. Her physical address is 21a Alexander Avenue, Kloof, 3610. On Saturday 23rd - the following day - we will trek down to the gallery and commence the hanging at around 2pm, once the previous exhibition has been dismantled. Durban members can bring their work to the gallery on Saturday mid day - no need to get it to Helga's. PMB members can deliver their work to MACS and Helga will most probably pick it up from there on Thursday the 21st as she travels to PMB most weeks. Please would PMB members liaise with Helga regarding the collection of their work.

    Send good, recent work. Virgin, major work is obviously ideal, but if you have had a local showing of a major work that you are proud of, do send it along. At this stage we are accepting more than one work from everyone as the gallery is big. If we need to trim the show in any way I'm sure Karen Bradke the curator at artSPACE durban will do this for us. We will hang the show on Saturday pm and Monday am, till early afternoon. Some Durban members will be roped into hanging, so be warned!

  • Presentation of work

  • At the Winchester KZN fibreworks exhibition earlier this year the curator decided to place all the work in frames. (Sculptural work obviously excluded). The curators - Sue Winchester and her partner Stewart - also have a picture framing business and they were happy to place our work in appropriate frames at no additional cost to ourselves i.e. the cost of the frames was added onto the Artists Asking Price together with the gallery commission. The point I'm making is that many of the works looked ABSOLUTELY STUNNING in the frames. The exhibition looked very classy and professional - the frames lending an understated, classic unity to the show. Many people commented on this stating that framed works were 'easier to visualize in a particular setting' and 'they are as easy to mount on the wall as a painting'. 'Frames make the works look like fine art, not quilts'. Interesting comments from the public, I thought, and of course we do not have to agree, but the show DID make people look at textile work differently.

    Please consider framing your work if this idea really appeals to you! Framing does dramatically alter the feeling of textiles and you may like this. Framing will also add significantly to your costs. Remember artSPACE durban marks up the Artist's Asking Price 38% so bear this in mind when you price your work.

  • Opening Address

  • The very good news is that Andrew Verster will be opening our exhibition. He is a well known Durban/South African artist who has a particular interest in textiles. I am delighted that he will be with us at our opening! I have also asked Andrew to exhibit with us so he too will be submitting an artwork.

    There is a cash bar at the gallery. Each artist coming to the opening is asked to bring 2 plates of food.

  • Fibreworks V and Nova Constantia

  • At the last meeting after considerable deliberation and discussion, it was decided that we would NOT take the Fibreworks V show to Cape Town next year. A big THANK YOU, nevertheless, to Margie Garratt who is always happy to share her Nova Constantia Space with us and to Sheila Walwyn, Lynette Douglas and Kim Tedder for offering to share their Time in order to baby sit the Cape Town show. In fact thanks to everyone who contributes something of theirs to the functional running of Fibreworks. I hope I am aware of ALL the different things different people do. Please let me know if you know someone who needs a specific mention.

    Fibreworks VI possibly at the artB - The Arts Association of Belville. This art Gallery is situated in the Belville Library Centre
    (Talk about looking ahead!)

    Whilst in Cape Town last month, opening my sister's ceramic exhibition at the artB I enquired about exhibition space available in 2010 for Fibreworks VI. This commercial art gallery in the Bellville Library Complex is a very up market, up beat gallery, with a jacked up curator and smart exhibitions committee. What a treat it was to talk with professional gallery staff who are both efficient and courteous. The curator there knew Margie Garratt and all her Innovative Threads exhibitions - in fact Margie's Innovative Threads did exhibit there on occasions. I also spoke about the very successful textile exhibition coordinated by Norma Slabbert way back in the early 1990's in which a number of us took part. Maxine Oosthuizen, the curator, is consequently keen that we should exhibit there and I told her I would send her a CD of our work/ history of the group/ website etc. within the next month or so. If all goes well I will book the venue for around August 2010. The gallery is booked up for the next 18 months. I was so excited I phoned Sheila Walwyn and she is keen that we go ahead. To date, the Cape has not hosted a national exhibition. Margie Garratt was overseas at the time so I couldn't tell her, but I'm sure she will be delighted that we have a very probable venue for our next national show.

  • Fibre/Textile exhibition at the Jack Heath Gallery in PMB.
  • Jutta Faulds reports back on the show, named Regeneration

    "This exhibition was mainly an educational exercise, in the sense that it was

    a) seen by young people at school and university level, and the response by the latter was one of general excitement over something they didn't know EXISTED! And, b) I find it personally rewarding that fine-arts-academia in this country has finally woken up to the fact that 'fibre' is a legitimate means of artistic expression.

    The exhibition (there were nine contributing artists in the end) showed many and varied approaches to the 'fibre' concept. All nine, incidentally, are MACS members, and although we don't work as a group, there is much interpersonal contact, which is also made easy because we live relatively close to each other. We certainly know each other quite well, personally and professionally.

    All in all I would say Fibreworks people could do worse than group themselves together and organise small exhibitions in different venues".

  • Fireworks - regional KZN fibreworks exhibition at The Complete Picture - Hillcrest

  • Sue Winchester the curator had this to say:

    "The Fireworks exhibition has been a great success and today is its last official day. We had a very crowded room at the opening and about six or seven people and groups in on a daily basis. The press coverage has been amazing! We have had many, many comments on the beautiful work and a lot of compliments about the framing. Sales have unfortunately not gone as well as we hoped, but I guess in these uncertain times, people are holding back on non essentials for a while. Judy's "Wild Essence" piece, two of Helga's works as well as Sue Akerman's "Extinct 1' was sold, as well as most of the MM booklets. For those who have not made any sales I wish you could have been a fly on the wall and heard all the wonderful comments, so please don't feel discouraged. I would really appreciate it that should you sell your work afterwards as a result of someone viewing it at our venue, you remember to add in our commission to forward to us please! "

  • Website:

  • Helga would like to apologize for the delay in getting the web site up to date. The work is nearly done, and she will send you an e-mail as soon as she can get it aired. In the meantime, if you have web sites that you want to be linked to, let her have the addresses. It will speed things up.

  • The Enviroserv WasteArt Expo 2008
  • Cresta Shopping Centre - Randburg

    The Enviroserv WasteArt foundation has organized exhibitions and workshops of ecological concern at public venues since 2004. The aim is to encourage responsible waste management, alternative solutions for recycling and environmental awareness. The foundation endeavours to encourage the principles of sustainability through the creative use of waste on all levels of society. In addition the foundation provides opportunities and vocational training to promote entrepreneurship for emerging artists who work with found and recycled materials. The intention is to create a true legacy project for Sustainable development in South Africa.

    The programme in 2008 will consist of:
    An exhibition by South African artists who utilize waste
    An exhibition by South Africa's ecologically aware Crafters and Designers
    Student and learner competition of art, craft and functional objects made from waste materials
    Fashion shows of garments, jewelry and accessories made from waste
    Exhibitions by the winners of the WasteArt mentorship prize
    Living treasures arena - Guest artists and crafters
    Children's craft activities.

    The Categories for the competition section will be as follows:
    Poster competition junior high school learners
    Tertiary students from the faculties of: Fashion, Industrial Design and Art.

    Kind regards from the Arts in Action Curators,

    Celia de Villiers and Susan Haycock
    Tel: Celia (012) 347-2801Tel: Susan: (011) 454-3726
    E Mail:

    Exhibition details:
    Dear Craft-artist

    There are a great number of artists and crafters in South Africa who make a living by creating truly astonishing functional and decorative items from waste material. The successful WasteArt Expo at Nelson Mandela Square in 2004, Rosebank Mall 2006 and Cresta shopping centre 2007 and The World Environmental Education Conference in Durban in 2007 showcased some of these artists works.

    The WasteArt foundation would again like to feature the professional craft component of the expo at the Cresta Shopping Centre in September 2008. The expo will take the form of a curated exhibition. We are searching for magnificent, individual contemporary artifacts that are well-crafted out of at least 70% waste material.

    The foundation's intention is to provide a marketing platform for crafters to advertise and sell their wares. Crafters need not attend, but will send their contributions and will have to supply us with price lists, information brochures and business cards to be placed next to their wares and also on our website. Sales will be handled by Arts in Action at two pay points in the shopping mall during the exhibition.

    Conditions of entry:

    Work has to be created from at least 70% waste material and must be sturdy.
    Size: Maximum height 1.50cm.
    Artworks may consist of a group of small components.
    Deadline for competition entry forms and photographs 30 June 2008 (Three-dimensional works have to be photographed from at least 3 angles).
    If you are interested in submitting work for this unique exhibition please attach a good quality photograph, CD or e-mail with the enclosed entry form to the addresses below.
    The work selected from the photograph has to be the same one sent to the exhibition.
    If the work differs in quality from that portrayed in the photo it will be disqualified.
    Transport costs of works will be the responsibility of the exhibitors (please include instructions for the return of the work).
    Special care will be taken in handling the work once it has arrived, but the WasteArt Foundation and Arts in Action will not be responsible for any loss or damage during transit to and from the venue or during the exhibition. Crafters may arrange their own insurance if the work is fragile.
    The Work has to reach the organizers by Sunday afternoon 31 August 2008 (Address to be advised, we are waiting for the mall to confirm the allocation of a storage space).
    Work will be returned during October 2008 as some works will be featured at the international waste conference in Durban at the beginning of October.

    Please complete the entry form and return with your photographs ASP.
    Please stay in touch with developments via our website
    Address:e-mail to:
    Postal address: 88 Sekretarisvo?l Street
    Monument Park ext

    Thanks to EVERYONE who marches forth, with the Fibre artworks banner held high!

    Love you lots, Jeanette

    The Entry Form is on the next page!


    NO LATE ENTRIES. Please submit a SEPARATE entry form for EACH work submitted:
    Name: __________________________________________________________

    Postal Address: ________________________________________________________________

    Tel (h)_________________________ Tel (w) ___________________________

    Cell: __________________________e-mail: __________________________

    Title of work: ______________________________________________________

    Size: 2D: Height ____________Width ________________________________

    3D: Height ____________ Width ______________ Depth____________

    Medium/Techniques: _______________________________________________

    Brief rationale/Mission Statement:

    Artists Asking Price: R________
    (This is the insurance value if the work is NFS)
    Commission will be added.
    Is work for sale:Yes __________No __________

    Conditions of entry:

    Whilst every care will be taken with the handling of the art works, Fibreworks cannot be held responsible should works be lost or damaged in any way. We suggest that you insure your artworks for the duration of the exhibition.

    Fibreworks will handle enquires regarding sales of work and will liaise directly with the gallery.

    Your work may be used on the Fibreworks web site to advertise our group.
    I agree and understand the above exhibition rules:

    Signature: ____________________________ Date ________________
    Please fax the entry form to Helga at 031 764 3944 or
    e-mail :

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