I am a painter, printmaker and designer of textiles. I own a small fabric company called Cloth that I set up almost 25 years ago, because it made sense at the time and still does now.
I live in NSW's Blue Mountains on Dharug and Gundungurra land, where I work with a small team of people who love what they do, making textiles by hand, the old fashioned way.
I collaborate with others for the joy of making something together that we couldn’t make alone.
The pandemic has meant I've had to pivot from running my imperfect workshops, to creating a collaborative ephemeral art project that I'd love you to join.
I take commissions and I exhibit. My favourite place to be is working in my studio.
I’ve written a book and a manifesto to live by.
I live a simple life. It feels good.
There is something meditative in painting portraits of threatened creatures. For me, it's an act of reverence. I'm now painting these as a part of a start -up called The Big Picture Collective.
The portraits I paint for the Big Picture Collective are made with a strong and clear purpose - to raise awareness about threatened species and to raise funds to support their conservation. We want to support the grass roots groups out there on the ground, making things happen. We are establishing partnerships and hoping to make a big impact over time.
The portraits are digitally printed in limited editions and presales are available on my mate Richard's Big Picture Collective website.
The Big Picture Collective
It wasn’t long after I came to Australia that I started a business designing and hand-printing fabric. I wanted to make contemporary and natural fabric for people's homes, and I wanted to make it locally and sustainably. For me, continuing the tradition of hand-printed flatbed fabric production is more important than ever, in this increasingly digital world.
I started Cloth almost 25 years ago. Today my designs continue to be inspired by the Australian landscape and printed in small batches by hand in a tin shed in regional NSW.
Last year I took the distribution for my company ClothFabric back in-house.
All my fabric is available to purchase online or by appointment in my studio and workshop in Blackheath, NSW. We sell by the metre, by the piece and by the bundle.
We also have a swatch service on request. For all things fabric, head to our ClothFabricShop website.
The work I make is inspired by the materials I use and the environment I'm in. The land, the sea, the plants and animals around me.
My art practice is where my textile designs begin, but the art I make is also very much its own thing.
Every art work I make begins with being curious, really looking, and then drawing loosely and a bit intuitively.
The aim is always to enjoy the experience of flow, and keep the work simple, and full of the pleasures of layering, colours and shapes.
Visiting the StockRoom is a bit like dropping into my studio when it's just been tidied up. Some of the works are early pieces I've held onto for a long time, and some I've made quite recently.
You can browse through ready to hang artworks like my hand printed and stitched SweetSpot Loops, my hand-etched and painted Small Birds of Blackheath, ScrapWood artworks paited on found bits of wood. This is also where you'll find my multiprints hand printed on fabric, just waiting for you to decide whether to stretch them over a frame to make an artwork, or maybe stitch them into a cushion or use them as a panel for a skirt.
When it's hard to paint the clouds, we draw the mountains.
- The Imperfect Manifesto -
Making things makes me feel good, and making things out of the scraps that most people turf out to landfill makes me feel even better.
I save all my scraps, organise them into colour groups and curate ScrapCloth bundles of loveliness. These are ready to make into curtains or lampshades or cushions or anything else I can think of.
Since COVID-19 hit, ScrapCloth has become even more popular. It's calming and grounding to take some time to make something with your own hands. ScrapCloth bundles can be used along with other fabrics - like old pairs of jeans or existing curtains - to make something with good old-fashioned slow stitching. It's a lovely relaxing thing to do and something of a lost art.
The Imperfect Manifesto
It was a warm spring afternoon when we wrote this. Sitting around in our backyard with a glass of wine, we were talking about what mattered to us, what we felt about life. What began as a bit of picnic philosophy became a set of guiding principles. For me, these are words to live by.
Every Seven Days is an impermanent art practice for everyone, designed to enhance our mental health, reduce stress, boost creativity and cognitive function, and strengthen our sense of connection with nature and community.
You don't have to be an artist or have any tech expertise to be involved. We've made a website totally dedicated to this project, where you can see the easy-to-follow guidelines, find out about this week's theme and read about the science behind it all. Everyone taking part posts an image of their weekly ephemeral artwork on Instagram, using the hashtag #everysevendays2021.
See what people all around the world are making every seven days.
Making things makes us feel good.
- The Imperfect Manifesto -
This is my first ever book.
It’s about my creative process over twenty years of designing and making ClothFabric. It's a labour of love that I worked on with a group of lovely and talented people.
ClothBound tracks the development of my work all the way from first images and notes made in my sketch books through to resolved designs and collections. In the book I tell those stories, champion the imperfect and offer up a modest philosophy of sorts. This is heart and soul of Cloth in 240ish pages, and I'm quite proud of it.
I enjoy collaborating with other artists and makers. Just lately I've been working with Blackheath artist Simon Reece on a series of ceramic pieces inspired by the Arthur Streeton exhibition at AGNSW. Clay cups and bowls and small plaques to hang on your wall, thrown and turned by Simon and painted by me to reflect the sea, the land and the plants of Australia. Only available from the Art Gallery of NSW.
Now that I don't have a permanent shop any more, I look forward to meeting my customers at one of our pop-ups. I'm aiming to have one when the NSW lockdown lifts in Blackheath at the Rough Track Gallery next to my studio.
If you want to be kept in the loop about future pop-ups and other events, subscribe to my mailing list and follow me on Instagram.
I live in Blackheath in the Blue Mountains on the Rough Track on 29 acres above the Grand Canyon. It's a place that inspires me every day.
When you stay in one of our two ironstone cabins, please let me know if you would like to drop ion at the studio for a chat or to see some artworks or fabric.
If you'd like a retreat on the Rough Track, click on the link below to see the cabins website and make a booking.
When you get right down to it, the essential thing is to do what you do with your whole heart.
- The Imperfect Manifesto -
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Acknowledgement of Country
We acknowledge the Dharug and Gundungurra people, the Traditional Owners of the land where we live and work.
We recognise their continuing connection to land, water and community.
We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.