Australian artist Natalie Billing explores nature and memory


"Memory of Leaves" Natalie has developed her own take on eco dyeing. Photos courtesy of Natalie Billing. 

The Queensland Spinners, Weavers, and Fibre Artists (Australia), founded by Cecile Falvey in 1969, is firmly rooted in art and education. Cecile was an arts and crafts teacher at the Queensland Teachers Training College in Brisbane, Australia, which is now the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). The initial group of enthusiastic members has grown into a diverse group of fiber artists with their own facility, Fibrecraft House, in Brisbane.

Building the parcels to be dyed.
Opening the dyed parcels.
Stunning results!

Last month, member Natalie Billing hosted a workshop for the group called Eco Dyeing on Paper. Natalie studied sculpture at QUT and describes herself as "a sculptor and installation artist dealing with the interwoven subjects of memory and mortality." Eco dyeing fits into her work in an interesting way:

"My work had always been about memory and that is my interest in eco dyeingit is the memory of a leaf created on either fabric or paper. At the beginning of each year, members of QSWFA get together for four days of fun and ideassharing which we call the 'Cook Up.' This year I offered to show eco dyeing using a brew I've come up with using red cabbage, onion skins, and alum. It is different from more familiar eco dyeing, firstly because it creates very bright colours. Secondly, the featured leaves are actually being used as stencils, rather than for colour (this comes from the onion skins and cabbage). This session proved very popular and resulted in me leading a full-day workshop at QSWFA on Sunday 16th June. As well as the red cabbage brew, we also did a eucalyptus and iron brew. I love eco dyeing because it's like Christmas every day-opening these wonderful parcels to see what you've got."

To see more of Natalie's work, check out her Facebook page.

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