Where do you make your art?

I rent a studio space at the Newcastle Community Arts Centre on Parry St and that is where it all happens. I have been a studio artist at NCAC for three years now and it is great to have such a nice space to work in, surrounded by other artists and creatives. 

How long have you been working as a full-time artist? 

I have been doing this type of embroidery for ten years now but I have only been able to make my art practice into my full-time work in the last three years.  I am so grateful that my work has been so well received and that I have been able to turn it into my full time occupation. 

Do you draw before you start moving to the sewing machine? 

Almost always. Most of my pieces start out as sketched studies of various plants or animals and the main outlines of these sketches are then transferred onto my base fabric to give me a guide to follow when I stitch. But every now and then I will just start drawing with the machine, especially if I am working with a light or white thread. There is great freedom in working this way but it is also very easy to loose your way and make mistakes – but that’s all part of the process.

Who are you influenced by? 

Mostly I am influenced by nature itself and the multitudes of patterns and forms to be found in various plants, corals, shells, fungi etc. 

Where do you see your art practice in 5 years time?

I would really like to expand the reach of my work, exhibiting interstate and eventually overseas. While I have sold pieces to private collectors all over the world, so far I have only exhibited in NSW. I do have a few interstate and international exhibition opportunities on the horizon so I hope that in five years or so I have moved out of the Australian market and am exhibiting internationally.

~ interview by Ahn Wells April 2016

Meredith is exhibiting at Timeless Textiles from 13 April until 15 May, with the official opening on Thursday 21 April, 6-8pm. 

Follow Meredith Woolnough Artist for up to date information and visit her website