Valerie Kirk – Judge’s notes – Wangaratta Contemporary Textile Award 2011

4 June – 17 July 2011

In being asked to judge the award I thought about the criteria:

  1. Inventiveness/creativity
  2. Ideas that intrigue, stimulate, take our thinking beyond the everyday/mundane
  3. Ambitiousness – work worthy of a major award and scale of recognition

There were themes running through the entries:

  1. Identification with nature and the environment – Hilary Green, Julie Ryder
  2. Recycling/re-using textiles and valuing the material – Paull Mc Kee, John Parkes, Martine Peters
  3. Personal experience – Joy Smith, Adrienne Doig, Cresside Collette


Joy Smith, My Tool Set, 2010



Daniel Edwards, Woven Rythms, 2010.

The 2011 award goes to Patrick Snelling for his work “8.9”

Hand printed and digital textile                                   

The patchwork made of hexagons joined together is a traditional and well known textile form – commonly used for making remnant and recycled fabric into utilitarian quilts.

In Patrick’s work, the familiar textile is transformed through techniques, materials and Japanese imagery – contemporary characters colliding with classic fabric patterning.

The references are snapshots from travel toTokyoandKyoto– but re-thought and re-worked after the news of the terrible disaster – 8.9 on the Richter scale.

The piecing is fragmented and does not always follow the expected pattern, leaving gaps, making new shapes with negative spaces.

It climbs up the wall – an abstract shape of the island nation.

In the work we celebrate the textile history and contemporary culture ofJapan, through Patrick’s personal interpretation. We experience the empathy, reflection and the way that an artist can recall, process and re-present ideas and issues to us – so that we can gain insights and perspective.

This work will become part of the gallery collection, representing Patrick Snelling as a major contributor to the field of Australian contemporary textiles and the work marking our consideration of the events inJapan.


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