Basketmakers of Victoria - 'Winnow & Distil'

Wednesday 2 - Saturday 19 March 2022


A group of fibre artists have gathered to participate in an inaugural exhibition named Winnow and Distil. They represent an active community organisation based in the historic Cottage and Stables in Wattle Park, Burwood. The group originally functioned at the Meat Market Craft Centre with Jean Stone the founding member. Since 1986 Basketmakers of Victoria has continued to provide a welcoming collegiality for those interested in the art and craft of basketry.

Winnow, being a biblical term used in sorting the chaff from the wheat, is something that the artists are constantly undertaking, metaphorically, in their growing and preparation of fibres. Distil meaning to purify is the result of all these processes and it is only after this that creativity starts. Sometimes, it can take a year for fibres to shrink and dry before use. These processes can be applied to the idea of development and making of a basket. Sorting through ideas and honing them…experimenting with techniques and then using the process of discovery to make a resolved work.

Basketry is abundant with age old wisdom and skilful practice. Today, as in the past, basketmakers produce articles both practical and beautiful. There is an emphasis on sustainability and care for the environment. Vibrant exploration of the new occurs in techniques, materials, ideas, ways of working and new means of artistic expression.

The artists have brought together their own reactions to the art of basketry using a myriad of materials. They have been curious in their endeavours, inspired by nature and its offerings and in many cases made sense of their own way of living through the process from beginning to end. From the detritus of the world, from their own gardens and others they have produced artwork to contemplate, inspire and give pleasure.

It is in the intangible that the organisation does some of its best work. The elders of the group are revered, respected and acknowledged for their outstanding contributions to basketry. Members come from metropolitan and suburban Melbourne, regional Victoria and interstate and all make meaningful connections with each other that provide creative inspiration, foster lasting connections and enrich lives.

Featured artists: Mae Adams, Joan Asmussen, Jacki Bacon, Lydia Beshara, Fleur Brett, Maree Brown, Amy Cohen, Deidre Cross, Pat Dale, Sue Dilley, Margaret Donald, Vicki Fowler, Wendy Golden, Jodie Goldring, Barbara Hawkins, Gayle Margaret, Tamara McCarthy, Edit Meaklim, Robyn Norris, Rosalind Price, Elma Young