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Tamworth Regional Gallery is home to the Tamworth Textile Triennial which showcases the best of textile art from across the country every three years. Guest curators devise a theme based exhibition from artists working in the textile medium. Tamworth Regional Gallery has a long held association with fibre textile art dating back to the 1970’s. Early 20th century Australian and European works are another strength of Tamworth Regional Gallery with two significant bequests establishing the gallery in the early 1900’s. The John Salvana Collection (1919) contains over one hundred paintings and works on paper. The Burdekin Bequest (1961) is a significant collection of works collected locally by the Burdekin family and includes works by Hans Heysen, Nora Heysen, Will Ashton, Elioth Gruner and Sidney Long. In 1963 the Lyttleton Taylor family of Tamworth donated the Regan Silver Collection, which contains some of the best known examples of early Australian silver. Significant works by Evan Jones, Christian Ludwig Quist and HS Steiner are included. This collection is on permanent display in the gallery foyer. The Utopia Collection Bequest Like many other public galleries in Australia Aboriginal art had no part in the earliest history of the Tamworth Regional Gallery collection. Therefore the Utopia Collection Bequest which was received in 1999 is not only a unique collection of historically and culturally important works from Utopia, but also a significant development for the gallery. The Utopia Collection Bequest consists of thirteen batik silks, four acrylic paintings on paper, five silk screen prints, six etchings and acquatints, and six wooden carved ceremonial figures.
From the Collection
Julie HARRIS Born 1953 Sydney White Walkthrough, 2008 Acrylic on paper on canvas Diptych 100 x 140 cm Donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program by Dennis Raymond Julie Harris’s paintings have an accidental aspect to them. Harris explores various textural effects by pouring and trailing paint across the surface of the canvas or paper. She has a disciplined yet relaxed approach to her painting style where she allows the brush to wonder over the surface like words across a page slowly building up multiple layers. The series created called ‘Walkthroughs’ were created in response to literally walking through the landscape, recalling how small details catch the eye and the memory of things seen and experienced are stored away for future reference. These works capture the underlying structure, repetition and patterns; the abstract qualities found in the natural landscape. ‘White Walkthrough’ is a diptych which has been created using acrylic on paper. It is a monochromatic black and white work. The work is atmospheric both in colour and content. It reveals glimpses of the landscape recalled by the artist as they walked through the dense bush expanse of landscape. This work leaves a sense of things seen and things remembered as one recalls their own experience of walking in the landscape. Image above, image below Julie HARRIS Born 1953 Sydney White Walkthrough 2008 Acrylic on paper on canvas Dimensions: Diptych 100 x 140 cm
Fibre Textile Collection
Lucy Irvine (1980 - ) Continuous Interruptions, 2011 Irrigation piping, cable ties, steel, paint Dimensions variable (115H x 180W x 130D cm) Purchased directly from the artist from Sensorial Loop: 1st Tamworth Textile Triennial Born in Scotland (1980), Irvine received a B.A Fine Art (First Class Honours) at Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds, UK in 2002. She came to Australia in 2003 and promptly began exhibiting; her work has been shown in at least two exhibitions every year since her arrival, most recently the Wangaratta Contemporary Textile Award. Irvine has developed a weaving practice as a means of orientation within the landscape, creating sculptures utilising ubiquitous man made materials such as nylon line, irrigation pipe and cable ties to create organic shaped forms. Continuous Interruptions is a woven, wall mounted sculpture. The exo is crafted from black irrigation pipe and cable ties woven over an internal steel support frame, creating an organic, undulating shape. The sculpture consists of three parts and is mounted around the end of a free standing wall. A statement from the artist: “Continuous Interruptions interweaves man-made materials that facilitate the order of our contemporary lives into a form that celebrates the seeming chaos and infinite contingencies of the world beyond the boundaries of our knowing.” image below Lucy Irvine (1980 - ) Continuous Interruptions, 2011 Irrigation piping, cable ties, steel, paint Dimensions variable (115H x 180W x 130D cm) Image Lou Farina
Regan Silverware Collection
Jochim Matthias Wendt Born 1830 Denmark, arrived in South Australia 1854 – died 1917 Adelaide Ewer circa 1880 Silver, Marked on the foot ring:- “J.M.Wendt”, “Adelaide”, a crown, and the lion passant. Jochim Matthias Wendt, Adelaide circa 1880. Weight 675 grs, height 40 cm. Donated by Mr and Mrs J.C. Lyttleton Taylor in 1970 TRG 1970.06 ( detail above and image below. This week’s feature work Ewer, is one of two pieces of silverware crafted by Jochim Matthias Wendt in the gallery’s Regan Silverware Collection. Jochim Matthias Wendt was the son of Jochim Matthias Wendt Sr and his wife Christina, nee Schlichting. Wendt, was born in the village of Dageling, near Itzehoe in Denmark on 26 June 1830. Wendt completed his apprenticeship with the village watchmaker, having learning the crafts of watch making and silver smithing. He immigrated to South Australia arriving in Adelaide in 1854. Within a year of his arrival, Wendt had established his business as J.M.Wendt, watchmaker and jeweller in Pirie Street, Adelaide and later became a naturalised British subject. Wendt’s natural talent, good training and delicate craftsmanship led him to become an internationally recoginsed jeweller, watchmaker and gold / silver smith. In 1864 and 1865 his silverware and jewellery gained first prizes at the Dunedin Exhibition in New Zealand, whilst also receiving awards and medals in Australia. In 1867 he was appointed Jeweller to HRH the Duke of Edinburgh and gained two gold medals for his work from South Australia. By this time he had moved his business to Rundle Street, Adelaide and had employed 12 silversmiths as well as watch makers, jewellers and shop assistants. Wendt also submitted a pair of prize-winning epergnes to the Paris Universal Exhibition of 1878. Wendt's silverwork included extravagant naturalistic creations, stylish Edwardian domestic designs and pieces which showed restrained Regency taste which is evident in Ewer. His pieces rank amongst the finest produced in Australia during the second half of the nineteenth century. Wendt married in1869 to Johanna Maria Caroline, late Koeppen, née Ohlmeyer, a widow with four children, to whom he had a son and two daughters. Wendt retired in 1903 when his son Julius and stepson Hermann Koeppen-Wendt became partners in the firm and took control of the business. Wendt died in his in Wakefield Street, Adelaide on 7 September 1917, survived by his wife and children. Image above, image below by Lou Farina, Farina Fotographics, Tamworth

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