A fascination with a striped bow on a gift inspired some pencil drawings.
A bundle of white fabrics was given to me by my mother in law, who was clearing her cupboards out after a lifetime of making.
I converted my bow drawings into screenprint designs using handcut paper stencils. While printing the finest voile of the bundle, the basis of this exhibition began. Each variation in fabric type prompting the next design.
Some pieces have been made into things, (the striped bow design into a summer top) and others are hanging here as uncut lengths. The product range expanded as did the range of fabrics I explored. I’m hoping the printed lengths find a creative sewer who will turn them into something treasured.
The collages began during the pandemic where advertorials for private schools with slogans such as ‘time to shine’ and ‘time to choose’ were used to inspire and motivate action. More recently, the original context was distorted as they were put together with found and created imagery. The collages ignited new pattern directions.
Growing up in the Mallee town of Quambatook Libby was surrounded by wall paper, linoleum floors and the ornately decorated bedspreads of the 70’s and 80’s variety. Each room in the family home presented a variation in theme through pattern, colour palette and texture.
It is little wonder that her interest in fabric design overtook Libby’s earlier drawing and painting forays. With layered designs, that often have a nostalgic hand made aesthetic, referencing those bygone days.
The designing and making of printed fabrics began—after Fine Art (Painting) at Ballarat 1986–88 and a teaching degree at Bendigo 1990—when she immersed herself in the Studio Textile Design and Production course at Melbourne Institute of Textiles (now RMIT) in Brunswick, initially as a student 1997–98, then as a teacher 1999–2016.
After moving to Bendigo in 2012 Libby began working at developing her own studio practise. Since 2014 a purpose built backyard studio has provided the space for drawings and collage to evolve gradually, inspiring and supporting individually crafted screen printed textile designs that often utilise handcut paper stencils.
When the Bendigo Art Gallery provided screenprint access, as part of Public Programs run in conjunction with the Marimekko exhibition in 2018, it became the catalyst for popular print workshops run since in Libby’s home studio.
Libby’s art/craft teaching also continues through the Bendigo Art Gallery where she works part time within the Learn team.