Jeanette Stok creates delicate embroideries from galvanised wire, producing large-scale works reminiscent of the hardanger embroideries made by her grandmother. While Brisbane-based Jeanette describes her art practice as spanning installation art, sculpture and drawing, it is her unique embroidery-inspired work has been selected for the third Tamworth Textile Triennial, on display at artisan as part of a national exhibition tour.

The Tamworth Textile Triennial, held every three years, showcases the best of textile art from across the country, attracting artist participation from all states in Australia and celebrates the open ended, porous nature of textiles practice today. Jeanette’s work for the Tamworth Textile Triennial, Inherited Borders, cascades like a waterfall in the artisan exhibition space, combining the delicate nature of embroidery with the stark strength of steel. “Inherited Borders came about through experimenting, playing and creating work from objects and traits that I’ve inherited from my Grandmother, who moved to Australia from Holland in the 1950s,” Jeanette explains. “We all have personality traits and ways that we look at the world that we’ve inherited from the people around us, and the borders that we have around us that we’ve gotten from those people. This experience colours the way that we see the world, yet we also change that in every generation as we adapt to our own environment.”

Jeanette’s grandmother took up the Norwegian style of hardanger embroidery in the 1990s, and her collection of work has been passed down to her granddaughters, providing a continued connection through the generations and inspiration for Jeanette’s art work. “The hardanger style of embroidery doesn’t use colour, instead it uses pattern and particular stitches to create the work traditionally using white thread on white fabric. I found quite early on in my art practice that this translates particularly well with galvanised steel wire, as I can create and repeat the patterns in large format to create the installation works” Jeanette said.

Jeanette is also a scientist, and there is an interconnection between the methodology and experimental nature of her scientific practice and that of her art practice.

Jeanette will be sharing the pattern and techniques of hardanger embroidery in a workshop at artisan on 9 March. Taking her work from the hard wire material, back to the textile format, gives participants the opportunity to understand her work and learn a traditional skill. As one of only two Queensland artists selected for the exhibition, Jeanette was flown to Tamworth to meet with the full group of artists and exhibition Curator, Glenn Barkley, a year before the exhibition opened, creating a sense of community amongst the exhibiting artists that has inspired the creation of the new artworks on display.

Open House: Tamworth Textile Triennial was officially opened by the exhibition Curator Glenn Barkley at artisan on Saturday 23 February. The exhibition will run until 27 April. Jeanette Stok will be leading a hardanger embroidery workshop at artisan on Saturday, 9 March, 2019.

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