This exhibition is the culmination of a two year journey initiated by yarn artist Loani Prior, aka Queen of Tea Cosies, and professional photographer Mark Crocker. The pair developed a rationale to use the tea cosy as a catalyst for dialogue on the joy of owning something handmade and family tradition. It was hoped that the project would reveal stories of family, tradition and the immeasurable consequence of making and passing on hand made objects. The outcome far exceeded their expectations as it turned out that the humble tea cosy was a vessel that evoked nostalgic memories and deep familial love.
The project objective was also to actively engage both regional and urban communities so Loani and Mark took to the road and travelled to Warwick, Miles, Hervey Bay and Brisbane in Queensland, Mittagong in NSW and Melbourne to meet with everyday folks with a story to share. These gatherings provided the core material that has been used to create this wonderfully engaging exhibition.
Portraits of a Tea Cosy is organised by Warwick Art Gallery and toured by Museums & Galleries Queensland. The project is supported by the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy, an initiative of the Australian, state and territory governments and by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland. It has also been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.
Tour Dates 2013
Warwick Art Gallery: 5 July - 12 August 2013
Sturt Contemporary Craft Centre, Mittagong: 29 September - 17 November 2013
Territory Craft Katherine: 27 November 2013 - 4 January 2014
Tour Dates 2014
Dogwood Crossing @ Miles: 20 January - 25 February 2014
Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery: 8 April - 1 June 2014
Northern Rivers Community Gallery, Ballina: 16 July - 24 August 2014
Emerald Art Gallery: 5 September - 16 October 2014
Australian Stockman's Hall of Fame, Longreach: 8 November - 10 December 2014
Tableland Regional Gallery, Atherton: 23 December - 26 January 2015
Tour Dates 2015
Craft ACT, Canberra Craft and Design Centre: 12 February - 28 March 2015
Royal Historical Society of Victoria, Melbourne: 7 April - 14 May 2015
Bribie Island Community Arts Centre: 22 May - 26 July 2015
Banner image above: Loani Prior, Jimmy (detail), 2012. Wool, interfacing, polyester fibre fill, 22 x 22 x 22 cm. Photo: Mark Crocker.