Winners for the Kate Derum and Irene Davies Awards for Small Tapestries Announced


The Australian Tapestry Workshop (ATW) is delighted to announce the winners for the $5,000 Kate Derum Award and the $1,000 Irene Davies Emerging Artists Award for Small Tapestries.

Ema Shin’s (Australia) tapestry Soft Alchemy (Lily) was awarded the Kate Derum Award and the Irene Davies Emerging Artists Award was awarded to UK weaver Hannah Waldron (United Kingdom) for her tapestry To Houshi Onsen. Cresside Collette was awarded a High Commendation for her tapestry Garden in the Kate Derum Award. Two High Commendations were awarded for the Irene Davies Award, Munaw Poe (Australia) for her tapestry Freedom and Ingrida Ivane (Latvia) for her tapestry Impatience.

The winners were selected by a judging panel including Emeritus Prof Kay Lawrence AM, Dr Kevin Murray & Dr Rebecca Coates who wrote about their selection:

Kate Derum Winner: Ema Shin Soft Alchemy (Lily)

‘Ema Shin’s tapestry Soft Alchemy (Lily) brings together two familiar tropes of the feminine, flowers and the female body, but in such a way that they seem fresh and surprising; the overblown flower form with its profusion of stamens is a powerful expression of the fecundity of the female body. The weaving is technically adept and the shaped forms skilfully controlled so they heighten the vibrancy and expressiveness of the image. Soft Alchemy (Lily) is a beautifully resolved artwork.’

Irene Davies Winner: Hannah Waldron To Houshi Onsen

‘Hannah Waldron in her tapestry To Houshi Onsen exploits the process of weaving used to construct an image from bottom to top, to visually map her memories of a particular place. In doing so she has created a graphically resolved and precise woven narrative composed of fragments, associations and memories. She has skilfully used the clear vibrant colour and sheen of cotton and silk yarns to suggest a journey through both time and space.’

Kate Derum Highly Commended: Cresside Collette Garden

‘Cresside Collette uses the tapestry medium with consummate skill to recreate the experience of being in a tropical garden. By building up the image through weaving small patches of muted colour with sudden flashes of intense hue, she is able to evoke the sensuality of dappled shade and play of light on foliage and water while maintaining the integrity of the woven image.’

Irene Davies Highly Commended:Munaw Poe Freedom

‘In her tapestry Freedom Munaw Poe has transformed traditional linear patterns from Burmese handloom weaving into the idiom of woven tapestry. The vibrant colour and dynamic structure of her tapestry is a powerful expression of the freedom she feels in Australia while maintaining a strong link to her heritage.’

Irene Davies Highly Commended: Ingrida Ivane Impatience

‘The title of this tapestry Impatience is refuted by the care and attention with which it was woven, evident in the precise weaving of the white tally marks standing out against the subtle warm tones of the ground. The weaving process and the image itself cleverly embody different modalities of time; weaving as an active engagement in the present that makes time pass quickly, and a process of marking the passage of time that ironically seems to make time pass more slowly. Concept and process very successfully integrated.’

59 artists from 16 countries were selected as finalists for the Kate Derum Award and 22 artists from 9 countries have been selected for the Irene Davies Award.

An exhibition of the finalists’ works is currently on display at the Australian Tapestry Workshop, 262 – 266 Park Street, South Melbourne until September 29, 2017.


Generously supported by Susan Morgan and the Tapestry Foundation of Australia, the Kate Derum Award was created in honour of the former Deputy Director of the Australian Tapestry Workshop who passed away in 2008. The Award celebrates Kate Derum as an accomplished artist, respected teacher, avid supporter of the ATW and ambassador for Australian tapestry. She was a wonderful role model and leader, and influenced the lives of many young artists.

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