Back row left to right: Pamela Joyce, Leith Maguire, Antonia Syme, Sophie Morris, Josephine Mead, Xanthe Dobbie, Chris Cochius, Karlie Hawking, Sue Batten. Front row left to right: Joy Smith, Adriane Hayward, Jenny Port, Cheryl Thornton, Josephine Briginshaw, Alime Adieva. Not present: Tony Stefanovski.
Sue Batten - Head Weaver
Sue Batten’s passion for tapestry began when she learnt to weave at the ATW during work experience in 1976. She commenced an apprenticeship at the ATW in 1977 and combined her weaving training with the study of drawing, sculpture and ceramics at Melbourne State College and textiles at RMIT. In 1999 she undertook further study in tapestry and drawing at Monash University.
Sue has led many major commissions including Diggers, designed by David Larwill for Ballarat University, Alice Bayke by Yvonne Todd for the Queensland Art Gallery, The games children play by Robert Ingpen for the Royal Children’s Hospital, and Eye desire by Sally Smart for the Royal Women’s Hospital, which was completed in 2011. Her work on a tapestry designed by Brent Harris, No 22, was exhibited at the 2012 Melbourne Art Fair, and more recently in 2014 her interpretation of Everything has two witnesses, one on earth and one in the sky designed by Sangeeta Sandrasegar, was exhibited at Dovecot Studios in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Chris Cochius studied Environmental Design, followed by Interior Design in Adelaide. In 1982 she worked with artist Kay Lawrence on a tapestry for the Australian High Commission in Dhaka, Bangladesh before commencing work at the ATW in 1983. From 1986-87 she was employed by the West Dean Tapestry Studio in the UK to weave a tapestry designed by British artist Henry Moore.
Chris has led many projects at the ATW, including Forest Noise designed by Singapore artist Ian Woo, Research and respond by Merrin Eirth for the Royal Melbourne Hospital, The Visitor by Jon Cattapan for Xavier College, Melbourne, Fire and Water-moths, swamps and lava flows of the Hamilton Region by John Wolseley for the Hamilton Art Gallery and Allegro by Yvonne Audette for the Lyceum Club, Melbourne. She was part of the duo that made history by translating an original artwork by HRH Prince of Wales, Rufiji River from Mbuyuni Camp, Selous Game Reserve, in Tanzania into a unique tapestry in 2014.
Pamela Joyce became interested in tapestry whilst studying a double major in fine art in conjunction with her teaching degree. She began working at the ATW in 1980 and has since worked on numerous major projects including the Roger Kemp Suite in the Great Hall at the National Gallery of Victoria, the Arthur Boyd Reception hall tapestry for Parliament House in Canberra and the Jørn Utzon tapestry Homage to Carl Philip Emmanuel Bach for the Sydney Opera House. In 1985 she undertook a year of study in tapestry and textile conservation with Conservator Tina Kane from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Pamela has led many major commissions including Creek Bed by Elizabeth Marks Nakamarra for The Australian Embassy in Paris, Spring Street end by Ben McKeown for the State Library of Victoria and Kunnawaritji to Wajaparni for the Australian Embassy to the Holy See in Rome, which was based on a painting by eight Indigenous artists who took part in a project that re-examined the history of the Canning Stock Route. Pamela has led some exceptional interpretations including that of Kungkarrakalpa (The seven sisters) by Anmanari Brown, which was shown at the 2012 Melbourne Art Fair and Sorry, an artwork by Juan Davila, designed by Ben McKeown, in partnership with the State Library of Victoria in 2013. More recently in 2014 she was part of the team that completed an illustrious commission, which translated an original artwork by HRH Prince of Wales, Rufiji River from Mbuyuni Camp, Selous Game Reserve, in Tanzania into a unique tapestry.
Cheryl Thornton completed studies in Art and Design in 1976 when her introduction to tapestry weaving began at a seminal workshop with acclaimed UK tapestry artist Archie Brennan. She was offered a position at the VTW in 1977. Thornton has worked on over fifty different tapestries, including the monumental Jorn Utzon for the Sydney Opera House. She has led many major commissions such as three of the Roger Kemp tapestries for the National Gallery of Victoria, the Melbourne Recital Centre tapestry based on a design by Bentinck Island artists and the recent tapestry designed by David Noonan. Thornton regularly exhibits her own work in solo and group exhibitions and is represented in the collections of BHP and the Queensland Art Gallery.
Tony Stefanovski – ATW Dyer
Professional dyer Tony Stefanovski has a Bachelor of Applied Science from RMIT and has worked in textile colour laboratories for 16 years.
He first worked as an assistant at Calum Textiles, which amalgamated with CDA to form Austrim where he became a senior technician. When Austrim was liquidated, he worked for Melba Industries becoming a laboratory manager for about six years. Both Austrim and Melba fell victim, at different times, to the shrinking Australian textile industry.
In September 2009 Tony was appointed to the position of Dyer at the Workshop.
Karlie Hawking - Weaver Intern
Karlie Hawking is an Australian museum professional and tapestry artist based in Melbourne. For the past 15 years she has held professional positions across the creative industries in the fields of history, cultural development, curatorship and cultural collections management. She has been a textile maker for many years and in 2012, while traveling in Vietnam and Lao on a textile tour, she discovered a love and passion for tapestry. Since then, Karlie has pursued an arts practice and vocational training in tapestry with the ambition of pursuing a career as a professional tapestry weaver.
Leith Maguire - Weaver Intern
Leith Maguire is a recently graduated objects conservator with a background in visual art. She has extensive experience working in exhibitions and public programs and a proven track record of assisting with conservation treatments and preservation projects within several Australian cultural institutions, including Museums Victoria and the NGV. She has a special interest in the history of Australian art, a good understanding of the contemporary work being produced in Melbourne, and a strong theoretical and practical knowledge of the characteristics and deterioration processes of a range of different materials. Leith is an enthusiastic student, and is eager to further her knowledge and skills base in the fields of art and conservation.
Sophie Morris - Weaver Intern
Sophie Morris graduated from Fine Arts at RMIT University in 2012 and has always aspired towards a professional and hands-on career as an artist. Since completing her degree, she has been developing her artistic practice with residencies, travel, short courses, exhibitions, teaching, engaging with her creative peers and daily studio time. In 2013 Sophie started a small design label, Bakerhouse, producing one-off ceramic pieces and jewellery to help support her studio practice. Through Bakerhouse she has had the opportunity to teach workshops in ceramics and in screen-printing. Sophie is thrilled to continue to expand her artistic practice and career as a Weaver Intern for the Australian Tapestry Workshop.