Creative embroidery in New South Wales, 1960 - 1975

Wood, S 2006, Creative embroidery in New South Wales, 1960 - 1975, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Architecture and Design, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Creative embroidery in New South Wales, 1960 - 1975
Author(s) Wood, S
Year 2006
Abstract In the years between 1960 and 1975 in NSW there emerged a loosely connected network of women interested in modern or creative embroidery. The Embroiderers' Guild of NSW served as a focus for many of these women, providing opportunities for them to exhibit their work, and to engage in embroidery education as teachers or as learners. Others worked independently, exhibited in commercial galleries and endeavoured to establish reputations as professional artists. Some of these women were trained artists and wanted embroidery to be seen as 'art'; others were enthusiastic amateurs, engaged in embroidery as a form of 'serious leisure'. They played a significant role in the development of creative embroidery and textile art in NSW and yet, for the most part, their story is absent from the narratives of Australian art and craft history. These women were involved in a network of interactio ns which displayed many of the characteristics of more organised art worlds, as posited by sociologist Howard Becker. They produced work according to shared conventions, they established co-operative links with each other and with other organisations, they organised educational opportunities to encourage others to take up creative embroidery and they mounted exhibitions to facilitate engagement with a public audience. Although their absence from the literature suggests that they operated in isolation, my research indicates that there were many points of contact between the embroidery world, the broader craft world and the fine art community in NSW. This thesis examines the context in which creative embroiderers worked, discusses the careers of key individuals working at this time, explores the interactions between them, and evaluates the influence that they had on later practice in embroidery and textiles in NSW.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Architecture and Design
Keyword(s) Embroidery
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