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Oceania is the smallest continent by land mass, but the largest in overall size, due to the vast area within its boundaries in the Pacific Ocean. Four sub-regions comprise Oceania: Polynesia, Micronesia, Melanesia, and Australasia. Oceania spans the eastern and western hemispheres and its very diverse climate is caused by changes in land formations, temperature, and amount of rainfall. Within the boundaries of Oceania are mountain ranges, deserts, volcanoes, coral islands, and rainforests, all populated by an incredibly high number of endemic species of flora and fauna.
Jennifer Bowker has been quilting since 1997 and is an internationally known and awarded quilter. She has worked with women’s groups in Iran, Palestine and in many other developing countries as well as teaching widely in Europe, Asia and USA. She is known for her work with the Egyptian Tentmakers. In 2018 she was awarded an AO “For distinguished service to Australia-Middle East cultural relations through the preservation of traditional creative and visual arts, and as a textile artist and educator.”
Working on this juror panel was a rewarding experience. We were, as a team, very much in tune with the decisions we made. Most photography was good. I think it is important that a detail shows a considerably enlarged small area to show stitching and method, and some ‘details’ were simply half of the whole piece.
The work was compelling and varied and I think we have shown that in the pieces that were accepted. All the strongest parts of Oceania are represented – the land, islands, fire, volcanoes, rainforests, the sea, flora and fauna, and the people. We are delighted with the final exhibition.
Australian textile artist Sue Dennis has been part of the quilting world for more than 30 years as a local and international tutor, writer, exhibitor and prize winner. A passion for the dramatic landscape, its colours and seasonal moods lead her to explore portraying the essence of the outback land in her hand dyed, textured and stitched early work. Sue’s love of surface design techniques have resulted in a large body of work being exhibited in various international juried and invitational exhibitions. Much of her recent work captures her love of travel translated into cloth.
Having a variety of excellent work to jury made it easier but in other dimensions also harder to select an interesting, dynamic exhibition. The diversity of interpretations of the theme allowed the jury panel to choose work that reflected Oceania in all her varied glory.
Small pieces such as Out of the Blue and Tasmanian Hills sit well with larger works such as Run the Fire and As Man Disappears from Sight the land Remains in a virtual exhibition. The exhibition also celebrates the diversity of regional people as represented by Lola, flora -New Zealand Bush Beams and fauna – In the Shade of the Trees within our huge region.
It was a privilege to be asked to jury the submissions and a pleasure to work with fellow Australian jurors Jenny Bowker and Susan de Vanny.
So come on a journey of discovery across the seas and around the islands of Oceania.
Susan de Vanny
Susan de Vanny is a multi-media artist from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia who has worked in landscape and portraiture painting, fine photography, and fashion. She currently combines painting and design training with self-taught techniques to create elaborate, stitched textile art. Her award-winning art has been exhibited in Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Dubai. Coordinator of Biennial Exhibit One Step Further and with work in International Quilt Museum, Lincoln Nebraska.
Such excellent work entered this virtual exhibit was exciting although difficult in choosing the work that best represents so many diﬀerent elements of Oceania.
From the wonderful three-dimensional works, the sensitivity of the ﬂora and fauna, onto the violence of volcanoes erupting, bushﬁres burning and destroying it. Then to the celebration of people that live and form our part of the world today.
I am very honoured to be part of the panel in selection of such wonderful textile works and a huge honour to be working along side fellow jurors both highly talented Jenny Bowker AO and Sue Dennis.
Julia Arden (New Zealand) - Lake Ohau in winter
Nancy Bardach (California, USA) - A Song of Ascent
Jackie Berry (Missouri, USA) - Go Green, Save Green Triptych
Maryte Collard (Lithuania) - Southern Sky
Sarah Entsminger (Virginia, USA) - Island Life
Dianne Firth Australian Capital Territory, Australia) - Kamberra
Judith Garnett (Oregon, USA) - Submerge
Merrilyn George (New Zealand) - As Man Disappears From Sight the Land Remains
Greta Hildebrand (Ontario, Canada) - Lola
Patty Kennedy-Zafred (Pennsylvania, USA) - Women of Color
Marjan Kluepfel (California, USA) - Eucalyptus Branch
Irene Koroluk (Tasmania, Australia) - What Lies Beneath
Linden Lancaster (Victoria, Australia) - Run the Fire
Judy Leslie (British Columbia, Canada) - The Choice
Marie Mitchell (Western Australia, Australia) - Disconnected Habitat II
Alison Muir (New South Wales, Australia) - Global Warning
Marilyn Muirhead (New Zealand) - New Zealand Bush Beams
Claire Passmore (United Kingdom) - Out of the Blue
Beth and Trevor Reid (Australian Capital Territory, Australia) - Macrocarpa
Alison Schwabe (Uruguay) - Dreamlines 3
Sara Sharp (Texas, USA) - Kilauea
Carolyn Skei (Texas, USA) - Mystic Currents
Brenda Gael Smith (New South Wales, Australia) - Desert Tracks: Not Terra Nullius
Linda Steele (Victoria, Australia) - Firelight
Tania Tanti (Victoria, Australia) - Emotion Of The Ocean
Marianne Williamson (Alabama, USA) - Where Land and Sea Meet
Martha Wolfe (California, USA) - New Zealand: Pukeko
Dianne Miller Wolman (Maryland, USA) - Tasmanian Hills
Zara Zannettino (South Australia, Australia ) - Monarch Menagerie
Vivien Zepf (New York, USA) - In the Shade of the Trees