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Newsletter July 2014

Dear ALL

Dates to diarize:

  • 3 August to 5 October, Jean Powell's exhibition at the Tatham Art Gallery. More on this later
  • 11.30, 17 August Walkabout of Jean's exhibition with Robert Brusse.
  • Monday 29 September Opening of Fibreworks VIII by Robert Brusse, a Durban architect.
  • Monday 29 September - Saturday 11 October 2014 Fibreworks VIII at artSpace in Durban.
  • Saturday 11 October Fibreworks AGM.
  • 10.30 Opening of Corina Lemmer's exhibition Fragile at the Tatham Art Gallery. More on this later.
  • 1 January 2015 Quilt entries for National Quilt Show in Durban. More on this later.
  • 4 May Closing date for quilts for the National Quilt Show.
  • 3 - 6 July 2015 National Quilt Show at Kearsney College in Durban.
  • Fibreworks exhibiting at the National Quilt Show.

The AGM will be held on Saturday 11 October at Helga's house, 21a Alexander Ave, Kloof. Tel 031 764 0854
Our second Fibreworks meeting was held at Odette's home in May.
Present: Rosalie Dace, Leonie Malherbe, Jeanette Gilks, Annette McMaster, Margaret Ruxton, Odette Tolksdorf, Sue Akerman, Hermine Spies, Jean Powell, Sue Physick.
Apologies: Helga Beaumont, Carolyn Zelenka, Lynette Douglas, Cathy Knox, Cornelia Robinson, Margie Letts, Dana Biddle, Gill Gerhart, Marilyn Pretorius
1 IQCAfrica Exhibition 2014 in Johannesburg. 24 - 26 July 2014
Once again the IQCAfrica exhibition was held at Emperor's Palace and was a great success, by all accounts. This year the show organizers decided to show case all the work within one central space downstairs. The vendors exhibited around the artworks, thus focusing all attention inwards. Good! The two dimensional shows included the Mandela Exhibition, the Transitional Themed show, Fibreworks VIII, Major Minors V exhibitions and a fibre/textile sculptural exhibition that occupied the central exhibiting space. The light was very good, and a sense of airy spaciousness pervaded.
Many thanks to everybody who was involved in co ordinating the exhibition. Particular thanks to Dana Biddle for orchestrating Fibreworks for another year. Also thank you to Celia de Villiers and Hester Viles for organizing University students to hang some of the exhibitions. This cost Fibreworks a considerable sum, but they did an excellent job and we are all very grateful.
Jenny Hearn from South Africa and Marsha McDowell from America, curated the Mandela exhibition with great support from the IQCAfrica. A book called 'Conscience of the Human Spirit, The Life of Nelson Mandela', has been published which features 67 'Mandela' artworks, from both the USA and South Africa. There were 33 South African works and 33 from America. There was one collaborative quilt. If you wish to purchase the book call Jenny Hearn. It costs R160, and is a fine tribute to the legacy of Nelson Mandela. The good news is that if you are a participant in the exhibition, you get a free copy!
The link to this show can be found:
We thank Andrea Walters and Hester Viles for driving the works back from JHB to Durban for the artSpace leg of Fibreworks VIII in October. Helga has all the works safely at her home in Durban.
You still have the opportunity to contribute to the artSpace leg of Fibreworks VIII. Please send an Entry Form to Helga Beaumont at, if you wish to participate or to make an additional work. Remember the entry fee is R120 irrespective of the number of pieces you submit. If you submit a Major Minors, there is no entry fee.

2 artSpace, Durban 29 September - 11 October 2014

The second leg of Fibreworks VIII will overlap with our AGM so some of you may be able to see the show as well as attend the AGM on Saturday 11th October if you intend coming down that week.

The opening will be on Monday 29 September and the speaker will be Robert Brusse.

3. Durban National Quilt Festival 2015
Fibreworks will be exhibiting at the Durban National Quilt Festival in 2015 at Kearsney College. The theme for the National Show is 'Creative Energy'. Please remember that Phil Fischer has requested a donation of a small art work for the Durban Quilt Festival - size A4. Refer to the February newsletter for more details.

Here are some details from the Quilt Festival:

<Creative Energy SAQG>

Have you started thinking about the quilt - or bag - that you are making for the next South African National Quilt Festival in KZN in July next year?
To make your life less stressful, check out our website for:
  • Quilt Entry - to commit yourself
  • Competition Categories - so you know where to start
  • Quilt Rules - to give you guidelines and pointers
  • Quit Category Presentation - to help answer technical questions

  • Entry fee is R200 per quilt
  • International entries are welcome

Quilt Entries open on 1 January 2015 and close on 15 March 2015
Quilts to be received in Durban by 4 May 2015

Now that you know where to get all the information, what the deadline dates are - all you need to do now is start your quilt… or just finish it!
Looking forward to seeing you in KZN…..
If you would like to receive Festival updates directly, please email:

4 Port Elizabeth - Fibreworks IX
Marilyn Pretorius one of our newer members, sent us this letter:
'We have a gallery in Port Elizabeth at the St. George's Park cricket stadium called the GFI Gallery. This Art Deco building has been restored and the Gallery is keen to exhibit fibre artworks. They also do not charge! It was previously called the Ron Belling Gallery and the SAQG Travelling Exhibition was on show there earlier this year. It's a perfect, classy gallery with good security and a lady with eagle eyes permanently minding all exhibits!
This year there were exhibitions in Port Elizabeth running concurrently with the Grahamstown Festival. As they were linked to the festival it could be another angle for us… '
Many thanks for this Marilyn. We will certainly bear this in mind for Fibreworks venues in other parts of the country.

Achievements of Members:

  • Jean Powell
On Sunday 17 August, at 11h00 for 11h30, Jean will do a walkabout of her exhibition with Robert Brusse.
Jean Powell's first solo exhibition opened at the Tatham Art Gallery on Sunday 4th August at noon. Jean's wide interest in all kinds of visual art saw her work spill over into three rooms at the Tatham: she draws, she prints, she paints, she weaves, she sews and her passion for architecture is evident in a number of her enameled works. It was a thoroughly enjoyable and well attended event. Robert Brusse, a Durban architect, and one of Jean's ex-students, opened the show and made us all chuckle as he reminisced over some of his first encounters with Jean when he attended her lectures as a young student. Jean, a flamboyant extrovert and a 'closet feminist', brought light and fresh air into some rather dim and mouldy academic passageways and art studios, often 'wearing leopard-skin pants'. (Fiona Kirkwood! I thought you were the first to wear leopard-skin pants!) Incidentally, Jean's son, Malcolm - now a professor - wore a transparent confetti-filled Perspex top-hat at his wedding. Clearly Jean's child.
Thank you Robert for curating this splendid show for Jean in her 87th year. Bravo, Jean, from all of us!

  • Corina Lemmer

The Tatham Art Gallery is opening her exhibition entitled Fragile on Saturday 11 October at 10.30 for 11 am.
There will also be 2 creative Saturdays with her, and 2 watercolour techniques workshops.
On Saturday 18 Oct at 14h00 David Johnson will talk about bird's nests.

  • Sheila Walwyn
Congratulations on winning the art section of the 'Transitional' Themed show at the IQCAfrica! Well done!
  • Kathy Harmer Fox
We asked Kathy to tell us more about her proposed trip to Australia to teach:

'I am passionate about fibre art and believe it to be one of the most accessible of the art forms so I take both the making and the teaching of it very seriously. I travel all over South Africa sharing my workshop "Using Your Sewing Machine as a Creative Tool" with any and all interested in sewing art works into existence. I approached Fibre Arts Australia, showing some of my works and asking whether they would be interested in including my workshop into one of their festivals, they replied in the affirmative and after yelping with glee and holding my breath in excitement, we sorted out all the logistics. I will be winging my first way over the seas between our continents to teach at their Winter School in Ballarat and then Gippsland next year'.

Thanks for this ardent response, Kathy! Proactivity has paid off. Get those students to 'yelp' with joy! Go for it, gal.

  • Jeanette Gilks

I ran a one day Drawing Workshop in Manchester Art Gallery to members of BAAT - British Association of Art Therapists - whilst in the UK last month. The class seems to have gone well, judging by the responses to the questionnaire I asked everyone to fill in at the end of the session. Later in the month I ran the same workshop - with a tweak here and there - to a group of absolute beginners in Cape Town. Their responses reflected in the questionnaire were virtually identical. Over the years I have discovered that there are some absolutes: irrespective of personal backgrounds, culture or formal training - the UK students were graduate professionals - everyone responds to appropriate praise, enthusiasm and humour.

  • Leonie Malherbe

'I ran an architecture workshop for the African Art Centre last month. The workshop celebrated Durban's hosting of the International Union of Architects World Congress (UIA) in August 2014. The theme - OTHERWHERE , aims to find the 'in-between', specially, metaphorically and conceptually.
My workshop title was 'Urban Uncut', depicting the layering of living that has evolved in the city, altering the environment as rural meets urban. The Informal Trading is the 'other 'layer that has been superimposed on the modern cityscape. Techniques included appliqué and the layering of fabrics and stitchery of various kinds within a format of 23 X 31cm. Half the work was exhibited at the African Art Centre and the other half at the Durban Exhibition Centre for the Architectural symposium'.

Thanks Leonie!

  • Odette Tolksdorf

Odette Tolksdorf has a work included in the recent publication 'The Ultimate Guide to Art Quilting' by Linda Seward (Sixth and Spring Inc.NY).

Web site
The web site has been updated. It is up to each of you to check your web pages meticulously. Helga has, in good faith, put your work out there for the world to see, but some mistakes can, and do, happen. It is up to you to check. If there are errors, kindly let her know by the end of September 2014, so errors can be corrected. It is a huge data base, and if you want work removed/pages corrected, you must send explicit instructions with pictures. We are all trying to give things our best shot. Your co-operation is important.
You will note that on the web site, there are no longer any personal details available. The Fibreworks web site has its own email address, so messages are received. They will be passed on to you if appropriate. There could be a delay should Helga be away. If you are unhappy with this arrangement, please let me know in writing. Your concern will be raised at the AGM.

Please don't forget to pay your subs! The bank details are at the top of each newsletter and the annual fee is R150, payable at the beginning of each year. Please contact Kathy Harmer Fox, our new Treasurer, if you want to check on your subs. Kathy's email address
In addition, a number of us - including myself! - have also forgotten to pay our R120 participation fee for Fibreworks VIII. I know that subs and Entry Fees are easily forgotton about/overlooked and we all need a kick in the pants periodically. If you are in any doubts regarding payments and have lost track of things, please contact either Kathy or Helga. Neither of them will eat you alive!



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