Helen Gray

Rather than collect, I gather. Bird's nests, single thongs, bottle tops, stones, shells, rusted items, flotsam and jetsam and more grow around me.

During visits to central and northern Australia I have also gathered over time an aboriginal basket collection and it was to this that I referred as the starting point for my stitched textiles. Learning the traditional techniques from Maningrida women has informed my work - the collection of materials, the natural dying over the campfire, the weaving as well as embellishing, all using the resources at hand to produce baskets for holding and gathering. Moving away from the functional and decorative traditions of quilt making I looked at the weave, the joins, the colour and the embellishment of these baskets.

Silk was dyed with eucalyptus leaves and bark in my courtyard. Each piece is machine stitched, printed, painted and embellished with hand stitching and then beaded with bottle tops. I gathered the leaves of my textile book from each of the tACTile artists and formed a scroll.

Click here to return to the collections quilts.