Archive for October, 2013

Needlepoint West


Over thirty tapestries of the familiar landmarks of Melbourne’s west including the Westgate Bridge, Yarraville Terminal, Altona Refinery and stacks of colourful containers, will adorn the walls of the Roslyn Smorgon Gallery at the Footscray Community Arts Centre. Through the use of iconic urban/industrial imagery rendered in thread, Needlepoint West is an ode to the artist’s home turf.

Textile work and craft is historically a place where women come together and around which is conversation, gossip, and connection. Jessie finds joy in the conversations she has had with craftspeople, some of whom ponder over her not quite ‘lady-like’ appearance and take a while to warm. ‘Yet the minute we connect about the craft and its practice, I am embraced. I’m fascinated by these relationships and they inspire my craft.’

Needlepoint West has been a three year project. ‘In the process I have been escorted away from the fence-line by security at the Altona Refinery, I’ve had multiple pairs of scissors confiscated while boarding planes, I have had images deleted from my camera by  security at the docklands,  and I’ve been trailed by a man who was suspicious of my motives, while scouting for images in the backstreets of Altona.’

With this surprising and energetic exhibition, Jessie is threading ideas together, threading the west and threading the relationships, which sit at the centre of her practice. Needlepoint West skillfully manages to fuse the fluidity of thread with the solidity of asphalt, culminating in a vibrant collision of craft and industry, and an art show definitely worth experiencing.

Check out the Footscray Community Arts Centre website and Big West Festival for more information

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