Cresside Collette

Born Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) 1950, migrated to Australia in 1962

1980 Postgraduate Diploma Tapestry

Originally trained as a Graphic Artist at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), she worked as a book illustrator and advertising artist whilst developing large embroideries and exploring the textile arts. She was employed as a foundation weaver of The Victorian Tapestry Workshop in 1976, where she worked as a production weaver for fifteen years. In 1980 she undertook post-graduate studies in the Tapestry Department of the Edinburgh College of Art, Scotland, and subsequently completed a Master of Fine Art (by Research) at Monash University in Melbourne in 2003. She tutored in drawing and tapestry weaving in the Studio Textiles and Design Course at RMIT University for eleven years.

As a tapestry weaver for whom drawing has always been an integral part of her fine art practice, she has exhibited in both individual and group shows consistently since 1971. In 2003 and 2004 she was awarded residencies at Bundanon (a beautiful estate left to the nation by renowned Australian artist Arthur Boyd) where she pioneered working "en plein air" in the medium of tapestry. Over the last 25 years she has combined her own exhibition practice with designing and producing community tapestries for schools, city councils and universities.

Her current art practice examines the dichotomy of belonging to two lands, inspired by her return to Sri Lanka in 2009 to attend the Lanka Decorative Arts Workshop and subsequent visits in 2010 and 2011.

Recently Cresside has designed and conducted 'Mastering the Fine Art of Tapestry', a tour to view major tapestries, workshops and the work of studio artists in the UK and France.

'Twenty Four Evocations of the Wet/Dry Landscape' tapestries, 2011

'Horizon Suite' drawing, 2003

Selected Exhibitions
2012 'Real Nowhere Land' Manningham Gallery, Doncaster, Melbourne
2012 '1st Tamworth Textile Triennale' RMIT Gallery, Melbourne, Goulburn Regional
Gallery NSW, Manning Regional Gallery, Taree, NSW, Albury Art Gallery
2008 'A Month At Bundanon: en plein air tapestries and drawings by Cresside Collette'
Whitehorse Art Space, Box Hill, Melbourne, The Drill Hall Gallery, Australian National University, Canberra

Selected Collections
Ararat Regional Art Gallery
City of Whitehorse Art Collection
Bundanon Trust

1976 - 1990 Foundation weaver of The Victorian Tapestry Workshop

I have always been influenced by drawing and painting and whether my work is representational or abstract it is the pictorial content that is paramount. As far as tapestry technique is concerned I owe a great debt to Belinda Ramson who trained me in her meticulous way to be a weaver at the Victorian Tapestry Workshop in 1976, and to Archie Brennan, a great mentor who encouraged an adventurous approach to the medium.

In 1980 I was fortunate to attend the Edinburgh College of Art, which at that time boasted the only Tapestry Department within an Art School in the world. The course was taught with enthusiastic vision by Maureen Hodge and Fiona Mathison who were also established artists and exhibiting practitioners. The experience opened my eyes to the possibilities of tapestry as a lively and growing art form, and left an indelible impression on the realisation of my own practice.

'Mute' drawing, 'Mute' tapestry, 1998

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