2020: Reimagining Domestic Art in Australia

Reimagining Domestic Art in Australia

1st – 31st March, 2020

Morningside Picture Framers Art Gallery, Morningside, Qld.

Japanese Allegory, 58×76 cm, gold frame, $800
Hill End, 56×48 cm, framed, $300

Pierrot, 41×48 cm, gold frame. $650
Iconlady, 53×63 cm, gold frame. $650
Invasion, 37x66cm. $300
Roses and TulipsTulips

Tapestry pictures have been treasured, derided and trashed , in my lifetime. I have always been fascinated by the role kitsch plays in everyday life. What memories are held in the objects.

By working the Iconlady shape , in sequins , over the found tapestries , the picture becomes more than its whole. The Iconlady shape is ( unconsciously) recognised by viewers (everyone) as essentially female. Sometimes historical, sometimes religious, sometimes mysterious. The shape ,stitched in sequins , creates  allegories, holograms, and new images on the underlying domestic, mass produced, tapestries.

Sequins themselves are changing. They are becoming biodegradable  , no longer made of metal. The worked tapestries will soon be unavailable , to be replaced with  cheap Internet Art as households  of today are sent to trash and treasure outlets.

For me , this is a sentimental journey to give this hand crafted  work a place in our history, a gathering -in of all that is genuine, heartfelt and skillful. Not forgetting wool, a product that has served us well and stands the time test, also out of favour in this hi -tech era.

Framed under glass with style appropriate  frames, ( gold) , all the mounts are new and in keeping with the style of presenting tapestries. Each individual picture brings up the viewers own personal history , memory and sentiment.

My feelings making this collection was always one of joy. I was never threatened by the work. They fascinate me.

I think all Artists make work for themselves and hope someone else will like it too.


rich tapestry; tapestry weave; a wall hanging, as a tapestry or similar object; (Theater) a curtain suspended loosely across a stage and used as a backdrop or part of a stage setting.

Origin: 1375–1425; late Middle English,



Memories are held in objects. Tapestry pictures have been treasured, derided and trashed,  set  to disappear altogether as fashion dictates.


I chose to use the Iconlady shape as the motif to over work the tapestries in sequins , creating allegories and holograms,  and new images. Easily recognised as female, sometimes religious, and histrocial, the Iconlady always evokes the viewers individual response. I was looking to honour the heartfelt and skilful work of the anonymous women , and men, who worked these mass produced pictures, in wool, for domestic decoration.


I enjoyed working on this collection, the sentimentality , nostalgia, respect for the craft,

the  research undertaken, ( the original stamped cloth was mostly Australian  designed and made, by SEMCO, and Baden-Powell was their travelling salesman…who knew? )

Lots to think about , and remember, Helen.