Fiber Work Art - Newsletter November 2016
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Newsletter October 2015

Dear ALL


6 October - 15 December - Second leg of Fibreworks IX, plus Major Minors exhibition at Mogalakwena Gallery, 3 Church Street, Cape Town. More on this later.

2018 Fibrework X. National Members' exhibition. More on this later.

Our End of Year lunch will be held at Sue Akerman's home on 25 November
Time: 12 noon
Address: 30 Valbridge Road, Pietermaritzburg Tel 033 347 3236

The next Fibreworks meeting will be held on Friday 24 February 2017
Time: 9 am
Address: Helga's house 21a Alexander Ave, Kloof, Cell no 0845513883


Here is a report back on our AGM held on Friday 12 August 2016 at Odette's house.
Members present: Sarojani Naidoo, Helga Beaumont, Odette Tolksdorf, Jeanette Gilks and Leonie Malherbe.

Proxy forms were received from 11 members: C. Knox, M. Pretorius, D. Biddle, K. Tedder, C. Kode, R. Dace, C. De Villiers, S. Walwyn, G. Gerhardt, J. Hearn, C. Harris.

Apologies: C.Kode, J. Hearn, S. Walwyn, C. Knox, C de Villiers, F Kirkwood, C. Harris, J. Faulds, A, McMaster, S. Physick, C. Lemmer, S. Akerman, Kim Tedder, Karin Arbeter, Gill Gerhard.

We welcome 2 new members to our Fibreworks group: Susan Wessels and Isabella Manyuchi, who both live in the Western Cape. Congratulations and welcome!

Once again, we discussed the importance of sharing everyone's news in the newsletters. The newsletters are our only means of capturing the history and development of our group. Consequently it is important for members to submit any newsworthy information they have that will be of interest. Do not think that your news is not important!

NB Please note that many points raised at the AGM have been incorporated in the main body of the newsletter.


Fibreworks IX opened in Port Elizabeth and will close in Cape Town.

Port Elizabeth:

Below is the list of works that sold in Port Elizabeth at the GFI gallery. Many thanks to Marilyn Pretorius once again for organizing this exhibition and congratulations to all the artists who sold work.

Please note the third column is the artists asking price plus any extras due to a rounding off of the total asking price by the gallery. To explain: Helga asked R4000 for her artwork. The gallery rounded it off to R5500, so the final price that she received was R4125.00. This did not happen to everyone, only those with awkward figures.

Artist Title Price
De Harde, Tilly Fracking in the Karoo R 2 000.00
Knox, Catherine Bird Woman R 700.00
Malherbe, Leonie Mercury Rising R 1 350.00
Malherbe, Leonie Cry Sky! R 1 350.00
Malherbe, Leonie Wild Touch R 1 350.00
McMaster, Annette Catherine 1 R 3 500.00
Pretorius, Marilyn Quiver R 1 100.00
Stevens, Mariss From a Secret Garden 1 R 1 100.00
Stevens, Mariss From a Secret Garden 2 R 1 100.00
Tolksdorf, Odette Fever R 1 200.00
Tolksdorf, Odette Urban Aviation R 1 250.00
Akerman, Sue Big Tree R 4 800.00
Arbeter, Karin Soliture R 10 750.00
Barnard, Elaine Postcard from Morocco R 1 300.00
Beaumont, Helga …an Immensity to dream… R 5 500.00
De Villiers, Celia Sunshine and Shadow R 12 200.00
Dlamini, Phumzile Way to Success R 2 000.00
Harmer Fox, Kathryn Origins R 21 500.00
Hearn, Jenny Wyeast - Volcano IV R 12 300.00
Hearn, Jenny Autumn Bluster R 8 300.00
Malherbe, Leonie In Trees Reside the Sighs R 3 500.00
Malherbe, Leonie The Prosperity of the Tree R 3 500.00
Pretorius, Marilyn The Core R 5 500.00

Notes regarding the spreadsheet above:
In column one, the first eleven names are Major Minors VI artists who sold work.
The next twelve names are Fibreworks IX artists who sold.

As explained, some of us received more money than we asked for. See column five. This happened as a result of rounding off amounts due to gallery commission. The decision was taken at the AGM that in future any extra moneys will be credited to Fibreworks for running costs. We trust that everyone is in agreement.

NB Please note that the Fibreworks artist who has elected to co-ordinate the exhibition in a venue is to be the only person who liaises with the gallery. Should you have any queries, contact the particular Fibreworks co-ordinator and not the gallery. This will obviate any communication misunderstandings.

Cape Town:

FIBREWORKS IX exhibition report by Sheila Walwyn
The ninth Fibreworks exhibition opened at Mogalakwena Gallery in Cape Town on 6 October and will run until 15 December.

I co-curated along with gallery owner Elbe Coetsee and I found that we worked well together in terms of selecting the works and arranging them. The actual hanging was done by her assistant Martin and it was a real pleasure not to have to do the physical labour.

All the labels were done by Ingrid who also had to do a fair amount of phoning and emailing to chase up information. Perhaps we can encourage members to be more conscientious about writing their artist statements and label info. The gallery had set aside three days for the hanging, longer than was needed, but great to have plenty of time to tweak and fine tune and proofread labels.

All in all, 24 artists were represented, and 44 major works and 36 Major Minors have been hung. There was not sufficient room to hang everything which was submitted, but every artist's work has been showcased. Those artworks not hung are safely stored in the gallery for the duration of the exhibition.

The exhibition was opened with an excellent speech by Marion Ellis of Cape Insights, a special interest tour company. I have asked her for a copy for us to publish in our next newsletter.

The gallery is situated in Church Street in the city centre and the area is quite a hub for art galleries and visiting tourists, so we hope to have a regular flow of feet through the door.

A big thank you to Marilyn Pretorius for sending the bulk of the exhibition and to everyone else who sent work separately and to Helga and Odette for being on the other end of a telephone.

Sheila Walwyn

Thanks Sheila! I look forward to the opening address by Marion Ellis. Thanks too for helping to coordinate the Cape Town leg of our show.

Below is the list of the members who participated in the Mogalakwena exhibiton:

Akerman Sue Magic Forest R3,000.00
Barnard Elaine A Collection of 5 Postcard from India / Morocco 950 each
Barnard Elaine 7 Crows R2,500.00
Barnard Elaine What lies beneath R12,000.00
Beaumont Helga Delishus - an Indian Oddysey R4,000.00
Coleman Hermine Gathering NFS
De Harde Tilly Violence against woman NFS
De Harde Tilly Aan Flarde NFS
De Harde Tilly Deep NFS
Dlamini Phumzile My Pride My Heritage R3,125.00
Gilks Jeanette Spirit of the Pilansberg R12,000.00
Gilks Jeanette Spiderwoman NFS
Gilks Jeanette Blood and Fire NFS
Gilks Jeanette Free Fall NFS
Gilks Jeanette Keeping In Touch NFS
Gilks Jeanette Rosalie's Maybe R12,000.00
Harmer Fox Burning Plains Kimono R22,000.00
Hearn Jenny African Idiom V11 R10,000.00
Horan Tessan Kandla Cattle Kraal R2,250.00
Knox Cathy Genius Loci R7,500.00
Knox Cathy Welcome to our New Happy Place R6,000.00
Koorts Lubi Fragile Flight R5,000.00
Koorts Lubi Recurring Fragments R10,000.00
Lemmer Corina Heritage R6,500.00
Malherbe Leonie History is written by the Survivors R5,500.00
Malherbe Leonie Good Vibration R4,000.00
McMaster Annette Atlas shrugged R3,000.00
Naidoo Sorajani Dawn R5,000.00
Naidoo Sorajani Dusk R5,000.00
Naidoo Sorajani Moonglow R5,000.00
Niederhumer Gina Indecision is a Terrible Thing R8000
Pretorius Marilyn Tranquility R6,700.00
Pretorius Marilyn All About Blue R2,400.00
Scott Sally Good Vibrations #1 R3,800.00
Scott Sally Good Vibrations #2 R3,800.00
Scott Sally Radiance R3,800.00
Scott Sally Hornbill 1 R3,200.00
Scott Sally Hornbill 2 R3,200.00
Scott Sally Seagull R3,200.00
Scott Sally Kingfisher R3,200.00
Scott Sally Hamerkop R3,200.00
Scott Sally Lily Trotter (Jacana) R3,200.00
Scott Sally Cormorants R3,200.00
Stevens Mariss Book of Stitches R10,000.00
Tedder Kim Where the Wind blows R3,000.00
Tolksdorf Odette Breath no 3 R13,500.00
Tolksdorf Odette Broken Leaves - Summer R9,000.00
Walwyn Sheila Earth R4,000.00

I want to thank Helga whole heartedly for keeping all these accurate records for us! They make for interesting reading. We can now all get some idea of the prices we ask, gallery commissions and who purchased which works. Interestingly, some of you will remember that the idea of keeping these kinds of records and posting them in the newsletter was proposed in our first Fibreworks meetings when we were a much younger and more naïve organization.

Fibreworks X. Our 20th Anniversary in 2018

At the AGM it was proposed that we have a themed section.

Some of you may have received an interesting email regarding a competition sent out
by the Rijksmuseum. This museum has invited the public to make their own
masterpiece inspired by an artwork from the Rijksmuseum collection.

Something similar was proposed by the Tate gallery some years ago, further inspiring the Tatham gallery in Pietermaritzburg to follow suit.

At the AGM the members present thought it a very good idea to create a Fibreworks version of this idea. Consider this:

  • Create a Fibreworks masterpiece inspired by an artwork featured in any South African Art gallery
  • Size: No side smaller than 30 cm, no side larger than 150 cm.
  • 3D works welcome, but again, no guarantee it will travel

We would welcome your feedback! At the next Fibreworks meeting we will make a final decision about this proposal. Not only is this very inspiring, but it will also ensure that members produce new work.


Odette, Helga and Rod have redesigned the Fibreworks web site. Thank you Rod once again for your patience, time and tireless contribution to our organization! People have until the end of March 2017 to send fresh images to Helga for uploading on the new web site. If you have any queries, contact Helga at
Absa bank is now requiring us to pay a monthly service fee. As mentioned earlier, the 'commission extras' will assist in these payments.

Fibreworks has had a successful year holding its own financially.

We still have to pay for the art works to be returned to their owners in December from Cape Town when the Mogalakwena gallery closes Fibreworks IX. .
As we have had problems before with galleries not paying artists for work sold, it is easier for Fibreworks to get a lump sum from the gallery. Fibreworks then pays the artists. This way we know everyone gets their money!

Our costs were very low especially if you consider how prestigious the galleries are and how well our works sold. It's been an amazing year.
Thanks Helga for keeping all our financial records in order.


Letter from Fiona Kirkwood:

I am so pleased to read about the success of the Fibreworks exhibiton in PE! That was great news. I have just been exhibiting in Shenzhen China and won an Award of Excellence for my installation there in September.

My other reason for writing to you now is that I was contacted once again by the Director of World Textile Art in the USA, to be the representative for the organization in South Africa from 2016-2019. The exhibitions in the attachments are to be held next year 2017 in Montevideo Uruguay.

There may be a member/s interesting in participating in this important international biennial in 2017.

All the best


Thanks Fiona. Congratulations on your award in China! You are a wonderful ambassador for the textile arts in South Africa.

Please contact Fiona directly if you are interested in participating in the World Textile Art. Fiona's email address :

Letter from Jenny Hearn:

Ubuntutu exhibition:

Hello all,

The exhibition is now installed at the Gateway to Robben Island Museum. It is a narrow space with windows on two sides and an open area over the stairwell. We hung the quilts from the ceiling on delicate fishing line so that they float in space, just at eye level. Some were hung at the tall windows, looking out on the Waterfront which made a wonderful background. The windows are coated with UV resistant Klingsheild, so those hanging there will not be damaged or fade. Also, there is quite a large overhang which shields the glass and there is very little sun except for the late afternoon.

We had a press meeting in the morning with the Rev. Canon Mpho Tutu van Furth, Marsha an Aleia Brown and then the Arch and Leah had a private viewing of the exhibition. As you know, he has been ill and is really quite frail so we are very honoured that he came. The artists who were present, the South Africans and the Women of Colour Quilters Network- and thank you all for being there - explained the motive behind their pieces and we did the rest. Leah was quite overcome and I know the Arch was sincerely touched by all the work dedicated to them. There is a small clip of this at .

The opening in the evening was well attended, Mpho Tutu van Furth officiating again. I shall send pictures to you all. It was wonderful to meet the artists from South Africa that I have corresponded with over the years. Diana Vandeyar, who coined the name of the exhibition with the title of her piece Ubuntutu was there from Canada so it was great to meet her. Amita Makan's piece, an embroidery on the finest of silks, was chosen for the cover. Later she was interviewed by Shado Twala. I have not heard the interview, despite trying to google Shado, but perhaps one can get it on a podcast (whatever that is - I'm still such a technophobe). Amita lives in Geneva, her husband is in the Diplomatic service.

The exhibition will be there until the 4th November and then goes to Stellenbosch until the end of January. I am still trying to negotiate with Oliewenhuis in Bloem and we will be in Pretoria.

The Annual Desmond Tutu Peace Lecture was held at the Artscape Theatre in the end, as the students were on the rampage at UWC. where for the last 5 years the lecture has been held. The Arch attended that as well and was presented with a birthday cake, however, without the 85 candles and the whole audience sang Happy Birthday to him. A very interesting evening and we were honoured to be there.

Our copies of the catalogue have been signed and I will be getting those in the near future and shall post them via Postnet, being safer than the post office. I think I have all your addresses.

FYI: I have another venture in mind for next year in Ireland in collaboration with the Irish, the Chileans and the South Africans on political and racial conflict. Perhaps small pieces 25 x 25 cms, to save on the cost of despatch. I have made a proposal and we'll see if it is possible, my contact is quite enthusiastic. Perhaps for late 2017. Think about it and let me know if you are interested.

Thank you all for the love and dedication you have given to this project, I am so proud of all my artists.

Best, Jenny.

Check the blog:

Thanks to all those who continuously help to keep the Fibreworks show on the road. It is very inspiring to work with a team who are pulling in the same direction



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