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Jeanette Gillies

Flood Damage - Jeanette Gillies

Art Quilt Creator.

Artist Talk Friday 11th November 2022 1.30 – 2.30 at the gallery

I feel very privileged to be a twin to Jennifer. I am the second born and tell her I kicked her out!!!!

We learnt to sew from our mother who had 4 girls under 5. Our grandmother taught us to knit and crochet.

I have lived in Lake Wanaka 53 years where my husband and I owned a butcher shop for 29 years. I am happily married and have two children and two granddaughters. My interests are gardening, golf, bridge, tramping, cycling.

The Wanaka  area is surrounded by mountains and lakes, rivers, bush, tussocks has intense light and strong colours which I find very inspiring, along with the various textures in the landscape . I have attended many classes and travelled to America twice to participate in 5 day workshops which is an amazing experience.

Jeanette has taught many classes and judged several exhibitions. Her work is exhibited in many homes around the world and she has won several challenges at symposium and other contests.

Committee work to promote her art forms has been very important to Jeanette – she was the president of NANZQ which is now known as Aotearoa Quilters and was president of the National New Zealand Quilt Symposium held in Queenstown in 1999.

That was so much fun and a great experience working with a group of local women with similar interests and meeting so many wonderful tutors that we bought into the area  from New Zealand and overseas.

It is such a buzz to see attendees learning from these talented people and going home with new skills.

Jeanette belongs to a group of women called COOTS (Central Otago Outside the Square) that meet 4 times a year and two of these gatherings are 4 day retreats, where we either bring in a tutor or do our own work. As it turned out when we arrived for our latest retreat we found the key did not work in any of the doors, so being keen to be together we used our initiative and took the door off the hinges and got into the lodge. The owners applauded this. The key was inside the lodge!!!! The group exhibits every two years at Arrowtown Lakes District Museum and Gallery and unfortunately covid has interrupted our last two exhibitions.

We combined with a similar group from Australia and sent our work to them where it was exhibited and then they returned all the work to us and held a combined exhibition in Alexandra.

Jeanette’s work is predominantly hand dyed fabric, using procein dyes, batik, indigo, breakdown printing, eco dyeing, and rusting. She mostly uses silk, silk/cotton and silk/rayon/viscose fabrics. Her works show her love of colour and the tactile quality of texture.

I like to quilt my pieces quite heavily to add texture to enhance the landscape and the subject of my project. I like to add a little touch of embroidery to my work if it is applicable and also the occasional beading.

I am as passionate about quilting as I was 43 years ago when I first took up this art form. This is spoken by a person who has found their true expressive ‘place’

More details of these wonderful works by Jeanette are loaded onto the website shop page. Click this link to check out the collection of Art Quilts: