Fabric, Fibres and Figures

Marilynne Barnes, Gerda Gamper, Sue Taylor

Sue Taylor, Below the Surface, 2022, paper, cloth, thread, ink, acrylic, 62 x 43 cm

Fabric, Fibre and Figures

Sue Taylor, Marilynne Barnes and Gerda Gamper


Fabric Fibres and Figures showcases the works of three local artists, who all draw inspiration from mother earth. Collectively their artworks reflect a mixture of gathered materials, natural processes, environmental sustainability, and respect for the land. Sue Taylor, Gerda Gamper and Marilynne Barnes are three artists who share a love of nature. In this exhibition they each present us with artworks that showcase this love in three very different art forms.

Gerda Gamper ls a rug maker. As a child in Austria, her country of birth, she watched rugs being woven by hand, and so began for her a fascination with the art of rug making. As a young woman she moved with her husband to Australia and, finding that the raw materials for rug making were to be had in abundance she began her life long love of spinning and weaving rugs. In keeping with her belief of a sustainable art practise, Gerda only uses fleeces that are unsuitable for commercial use. Fleeces that come in an amazing variety of rich organic colours from creamy whites, soft golds, rich dark browns and greys through to blacks. Gerda prefers to keep the natural colours of the fleece as she finds that these colours give her all she needs to weave her stories about her loves in life. Loves like a game of chess with a friend or the view of the trunks of gum trees from the windows of the stone cottage she built in the mountains behind Barraba, or of the patterns of shadows on the forest floor. Gerda weaves the beauty and harmony of the Australian Bush into her rugs. Through the tactility of her rugs you can feel the sense of peace and contentment with which she weaves along with the texture of the Australian Bush.

With her art, Sue Taylor uses the Goddess figure to portray Mother Nature, and by taking us into the world of the Goddess, the creator of life, love, death and decay through to birth, we get a sense of Sue's deep spirituality and of her love of nature. We are treated to a feast of  vibrant colour, texture and the celebration of life and are taken on a journey of sensuality and creation. Sue is always experimenting with ways to put marks on fabric. Taking recycled cloth she paints, dyes, or buries them in organic leaf matter under a tree in the bush, or wraps them in a variety of rocks or rusty metals until they are stained and sometimes a little bit decayed. Then with these marked fabrics, Sue begins her alchemy, turning them into stunning artworks. They become vibrantly coloured wall hangings adorned with soft sculptures of the goddess and vessels of creation. Her paintings on canvas are a celebration of the goddes and are embedded with symbolic references that dare us to inquire further into the glorious world of the goddess. Sue's art is unique.

Marilynne Barnes feels deeply about the effect climate change is having on our younger generations. That children feel the need to demonstrate to world governments about climate change shows us just how aware and concerned they are and, on a whole, how we are neglecting to recognise and deal with their fears. After a frank and disturbing conversation with her 12 year old grandson about climate change and not having the words to comfort him, Marilynne decided to write him a letter, but a letter in pictures with few words. Using black and white drawings of trees and water to represent mother nature, Marilynne attempts to offer some explanation and solution to their fears. The letter begins with images of a gentle, caring mother nature keeping the child safe,  to images showing the damage we have done to her. The last image gives us hope that if we start to care for our planet then nature can heal itself. This letter is a plea to all adults to love our children enough to make the hard sacrifices that are needed to address climate change. We have one planet. We must stop being the child that is cared for and start being the adult that cares for. Marilynne's drawings are highly emotive with a beautiful sense of rhythm and movement.


Tamworth Regional Gallery

466 Peel Street Tamworth

13 August - 25 September 2022