June 4, 2019
Kingaroy Art Gallery attracted a large crowd to the official opening of its annual two-month Queensland Winter Craft Festival on Friday night.
Guests were treated to a main gallery full of exquisitely crafted wearable art from The Alpaca Collective, and two other galleries of unusual rug hooking creations by Landsborough artist Judi Tompkins.
Judi has been following her grandmother’s craft for the past 12 years, and has gone on to found the Australian Rugmakers Guild, a national organisation which now numbers 200 members.
She said that if “knit, purl” were the watchwords of knitters, then “hook, prod” were the watchwords of rug makers … or at least, of those who followed the Waldoboro technique of creating 3D rugs that she pursues.
For a bit of extra fun, Judi persuaded Mayor Keith Campbell to try his hand at rug hooking after he performed the official opening.
Guests got to see the Mayor execute his first (and possibly last) rug hooks on a community art piece that will be developed as part of this year’s Festival.
This is the fourth year the Queensland Winter Craft Festival has been run.
It also marks the start of a busy two-month program of workshops, tutorials and activities designed to cater for all tastes and interests.
Kingaroy Art Team president Catherine Woodham said the gallery’s volunteers had worked hard to put together an exciting June itinerary.
It covers everything from Kumihimo braiding to dichroic glass, pom pom making to spinning and weaving, and rug making to print making and mosaics.
Demonstrations and “give-it-a-go” activities are completely free, while “make-and-take” opportunities and workshops have a small fee to cover materials.
On Thursday (June 6), Judy Tompkins will be the focus of a “Meet The Artist” session at the Kingaroy Regional Art Gallery at 11:30am where she will share her processes, thoughts and skills as she leads guests through a demonstration of her unique approach to her art.
And on June 18, Judi will be demonstrating her rug-making techniques at Kingaroy Library in Glendon Street at 1:30pm.
Next month, the Gallery will unveil the Craft Festival’s second month of craft exhibitions and a new program of art activities and workshops covering a different set of crafts.
The Queensland Winter Craft Festival followed its Friday night opening with a Market Day in the gallery’s precincts on Saturday.
Representatives from the South Burnett Woodcrafters, Jumping Ant Arts, The Alpaca Collective and individual artists manned stalls to provide information to passersby about the Winter Craft Festival and show them some of the things they can expect to see at the Kingaroy Regional Art Gallery this June and July.
Inside, Judy Brook was adding stitches (ie. rug hooks) to a community rug that will be created by visitors to the Gallery over coming months, using cut up recycled clothing for rug-making material.
The Market Day kicked off a month of craft-related activities at the gallery which will include free demonstrations and “give-it-a-go” activities, along with “make-and-take” classes and workshops that attract a small fee to cover course materials.