Fiber Work Art - Newsletter July 2019

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Newsletter July 2019

Dear ALL


  • 10 August KZN Quilters Guild Meeting. An exhibition of Roy Starke's work, provided by Fibreworks, will feature at this meeting

  • 17 - 23 August National Quilt Exhibition in Gauteng. More on this later

  • 2020 - Annual Members' Exhibition - venue to be confirmed


Next meeting could be at the National Quilt Exhibition if we have enough members who wish to attend. Please let Helga know if you are going to the festival and would like to meet with the other members.

Tilly has kindly agreed to set this up but needs to know numbers asap. The web site for the Festival is The venue is Heronbridge College in Fourways.

The suggestion is that we meet at 5.30 on either Wednesday or Thursday evening for an hour. We can discuss Roy's quilts - see page 2 in this newsletter.


Members present: J. Gilks, P. Nicholson, S. Naidoo, O. Tolksdorf, A. McMaster, J.Faulds, S Akerman

Apologies: L. Malherbe, H. Beaumont, C Lemmer, M Pretorius, K Arbeter, C Knox, G Niederhumer, R Dace, G Gerhard, C Zelenka.

The Fibreworks meeting was hosted by the Tatham Art Gallery in Pietermaritzburg this time. After good coffee and delicious scones, we all congregated in the main gallery where we were joined by Bryoni Clark, Reena Bhoodram and Kobie Venter.

Igshaan Adams was exhibiting in the main gallery and we were all invited to comment on the significance and meaning of the works on show. A very lively and stimulating discussion ensued, as everyone, obviously, interpreted the work slightly differently. We all bring our own personal histories to any viewing and it was good to explore the reasons why we all decode artworks differently. Meaning arises from the interaction of the artwork with the spectator and consequently meaning shifts, depending on who we are.


The venue is still being negotiated.

It was agreed that the following works/categories would be included in next year's exhibition:
  • Collaborative work. Member works with Roy's work
  • Member's own work
  • Major Minors in 2 formats: A4 and square 25 x 25 cm
  • Some of Roy's work that belongs to Fibreworks will be exhibited, depending on venue.
Please look at the last newsletter regarding working collobarively with Roy. Should you wish to create an artwork in this manner, let Helga know asap.

In order to cut costs for Fibreworks Helga is prepared to bring some of Roy's works to the Johannesburg Festival in August. Please make the necessary arrangements to get there or ask someone who is going to bring you back a work. They are rather large and bulky so keep that in mind.

You may make anything 2D or 3D that embodies the spirit of collaboration.

Please note that the costs incurred for shipping your 3D items to and from the exhibition, will be for your account.

  • Roy Starke
Thanks to Odette and Rosalie who have helped Helga and me handle the considerable weight of all Roy's work! The four of us had a vastly colourful and stimulating Sunday session together as we hauled Roy's huge and heavy work around Helga's studio. Pretty much every work has now been photographed and Helga has his work safely documented on her computer. Whew! Thanks Helga for your photographic expertise and for all the members who always donate their time to keep the Fibreworks wheels oiled and rolling.

We have written a letter, on Rosalie's suggestion, to be sent to various galleries in the USA to exhibit Roy's works. Please find it printed below, for your interest. We realize the costs of an exhibition in the USA will be daunting, and will keep you posted on developments.

South African fibre artist Roy Starke died unexpectedly in 2018, leaving the bulk of his work to Fibreworks, a group of which he was a member. A prolific award-winning artist, Starke created exuberant fabric constructions which were painted, stitched, embroidered and embellished. Many appeared in publications and were exhibited nationally and internationally.

As recipients of this bequest, the Fibreworks group is now engaged in arranging exhibitions of his work, both nationally and internationally. We feel this would give a wider range of the public the opportunity to view and possibly purchase works from this remarkable and celebrated South African artist.

Would you like to have an exhibition of his work in your gallery? Knowing your interest in and commitment to showing unique work of international artists, we would like to offer you the opportunity to mount such an exhibition. Rosalie Dace - a well-known South African fibre artist who has taught for many years all over in the USA - suggested we contact you.

Please view some of Starke's works in the attached documents.

Here below, are the approximate dimensions of the works:
  • Small: 27 inches (70cm square)
  • Medium: 55 inches (1.4m square)
  • Large: 60 inches x 94 inches (length 1.5 m & width 2.4m)
Roy's biography and more information is also available on his website:

We look forward to hearing from you with a view to further communication, should you be interested in hosting a Roy Starke Retrospective show.
  • KwaZulu Natal Quilters Guild meeting

  • Closer to home, KwaZulu Natal Quilters Guild invited Fibreworks to have an exhibition of Roy's quilts at their quarterly meeting on the 10th August at 10 am. The meeting will be held at the Hillcrest Primary School in Hospital Road, Hillcrest. The guest speaker, Christo Rabie will give a talk and power point presentation about Roy's work at the meeting.

    KwaZulu Natal Quilters Guild also asked Fibreworks to donate one of Roy's quilts to KwaZulu Natal Guild and Fibreworks have agreed to this. A quilt titled Mantis Moon at Hibberdene will now be raffled and the money raised will contribute to fundraising for the 2023 National Festival which will be held in KZN.

  • For Mom with Love

  • One of the artworks that Roy left to Fibreworks was embroidered with the name For Mom with Love. We decided to offer the work to Roy's sister Gail Starke Horne, and she was very happy and grateful to have it. Her 82 year old mother Charlotte Starke, is in her care. The quilt was collected in Durban and is now owned by Gail in Gauteng.

    Here is the message that Gail sent after receiving the work:
    "I am in awe this work of my boet is so beautiful, I don't have the words to describe how we are feeling, thank u so so much!!"

    Thanks very much Odette for contacting Roy's sister and making sure that the artwork was safely delivered.

  • On July the 8th, one of Roy's work will be auctioned on line by Strauss and Company. We will keep you posted.

  • Gina Niederhumer

    Thanks Gina for responding so positively and enthusiastically to the Roy proposal in the last newsletter! It is heart warming to receive feedback from our members:

    "I think it's marvellous what you all are doing with Roy Starke's work. I had never met him personally, but I have seen his quilts on many shows. I would love to participate in that challenge. By when would it need to be handed in?

    On another note, I have come across a fabulous textile book by Clare Hunter, 'Thread of life' - a world history seen through the eye of the needleŁ here is the link: At last someone write about WHY people sew.

    It might also interest you that Dr Elbe Coetsee, of Mogalakwena has been one of the nominees for best work in the Visual Art category with her Stitched Books at the Woordfees I feel there is a lot more recognition of late for textile work. About time !!

    The ETN - European Textile Network - will be holding a conference in July in Haslach, Austria this year, and as it happens I will be teaching there again this year. I am very much looking forward to attending some of their lectures and meet some more Fiber-people from over there.

    Last year while I was in Haslach, I have been offered an exhibition in Salzburg for this year. I will show a selection of my 'SEW many days in the year' as well as ' my life in Stitches' work. 'SEW many days in the year' has just been shown again in Stellenbosch and was very well received. In June another 'SEW many days workshop is planned in the Limpopo at the Mogalakwena artists retreat."

    That's all the news from me,

    I wish you a Happy End of Summer

  • Artbank: In South Africa there is an artbank in Bloemfontein that collects art works for display and Corporations functions. Artbank is calling for submissions from artists before 12 July. Interested?? Here is the link -

  • Artbank linvitation

  • KZNSA - KwaZulu Natal Society of Arts

  • Submit your portfolio
    9 July 2019 - 17h00
    KZNSA Gallery
    The KZNSA requests interested professional artists to submit portfolios of work for consideration for a large scale decorating commission.

    Please email PDF portfolios to

    Details needed for each piece:
    • Title
    • Medium
    • Year
    • Dimensions
    • Edition numbers, if applicable
    • Artist Price

    Deadline Tuesday 9th July - 17h00
    Only accepted artists will be contacted.

    Best to you all
    Jeanette and The Team

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