Textiles take centre stage in new Anglesea art exhibition

May 25, 2024 BY

AN ANGLESEA-BASED textile artist has team up with three local ceramicists for a new exhibition with a Japanese-inspired aesthetic.

Entitled Cloth + Clay, the show brings together the decorative quilt work of Maria Cook with the varied creations of potters Melinda Solly, Kim Drew and George Baker Readhead.

Ms Cook said the exhibition had come together “beautifully” with her quilts, adorning the walls of the art space, complemented by the ceramic work which is displayed on plinths.

Her textiles are crafted through a process that involves layering and patching fragments together, blending both machine and hand stitching, and explore contrast, pattern and texture through the use of a restricted monochromatic colour palette of indigo and white.

She said it was “rare” for quilters to be able to display their work in a gallery setting and the exhibition offered art lovers a unique opportunity to view textiles in a format that truly celebrates the artform.

The fine porcelain work of Melinda Solly, who crafts and teaches under the name of Fragility Ceramics, and the thoughtfully produced and environmentally sustainable creations of Kim Drew are also on display.


Ms Solly’s work features natural, organic shapes inspired by the Surf Coast, many of which play with the transfer of light, while the rawness of Ms Drew’s pieces, each textured and coloured with naturally occurring oxides and minerals, provide commentary on our “primitive connection with The Earth”.

Ms Cook hopes the show, which is imbued with a feeling of “peace and quiet”, will serve as an immersive experience for visitors and inspire them in their own creative exploits.

“As a quilter, I always used to go to patchwork shops, fabric shops, and look at the work they had finished hanging up on the wall and be inspired to go home and do my own thing,” she said.

Textile artist Maria Cook’s work explore contrast, pattern and texture through the use of a restricted monochromatic colour palette of indigo and white. Photos: ELLIE CLARINGBOLD

“And because most people shop online these days, you aren’t exposed to that.”

She said she hopes the exhibition can play a role in furthering the art of other community members and encouraged visitors to ask question about the work on display to promote the sharing of resources.

Cloth + Clay will be housed at the Anglesea Art Space until June 2.

For more information, head to surfcoast.vic.gov.au, or to follow @apiecefullife on Instagram to learn more about Maria Cook’s textile creations.

Anglesea-based ceramicist George Baker Readhead’s works are each hand thrown on a pottery wheel and blend organic shapes with the classic forms of ancient pottery.

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