Wool Corporation, embroidery by Heather Dorrough
Wool Corporation, embroidery by Heather Dorrough.
1976, machine embroidery, dyed blankets, recycled woollen blankets, dyes, 130 x 305cm. Photograph: Terence Bogue. Ararat Regional Art Gallery Collection.
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Courtesy the artist.
Wool Corporation is constructed from recycled woollen blankets. The old blankets were used to achieve the woolly folds in the sheep’s fleece. The fabric was spray dyed, machine and hand embroidered and appliquéd. An early acquisition, this work strongly represents the link between Ararat Regional Art Gallery’s fibre art focus and the region’s reputation for fine wool production.
Born in England in 1933, Dorrough studied at the Eastbourne School of Arts and the Royal College of Arts in London. She arrived in Australia in 1961 and began exploring the possibilities of fabric collages, exhibiting the initial works in 1965. By 1976 the momentum of the craft movement had grown and a select group of fibre artists were being recognised through commercial gallery representation and exhibitions. At this time Dorrough was exhibiting at Bonython Gallery in Sydney and established her reputation for image making through machine embroidery, which was later pursued by other artists, most notably Annemieke Mein.