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Fall 2016 Competition:


2nd Place Winner

    fabric and acrylic paint
    100 x 40 cm
    1500. usd

artist statement

I create pieces that explore our lack of control in the world around us. My pieces tend towards the deeply introspective, and invite the viewer to look closer, to feel something more than the aesthetics.

We are all held mercilessly by the hands of time. Our bodies dissolve or perhaps evolve depending on your point of view. Our souls float to the fourth dimension. A human Mobius strip with no end and no beginning shows our unravelling, our ageing. Metallic to show our impervious nature as we fight back, doing all we can to delay the inevitable.

artist bio

Falling into a career as a fine artist when a back fracture necessitated an end to full-time art direction, Neroli Henderson began her career completing a BA in graphic design at LaTrobe University (Bendigo) before gaining the position of Art Director for Shell Co. Australia by age 24.

At 25 a crushed upper back vertebrae, caused by a fall down stairs, completely changed her life. Although unable to be upright for more than a few minutes, Neroli purchased an easel, canvas and oil paints and began to work with palette knives and paint straight from the tube in the moments she was able to stand. The work sold and this spurred her to continue drawing and painting. Progress over the next 7 years was very slow but as her ability to sit and stand increased Neroli started to experiment with different media, including the guache and watercolours she had loved as a hobby before the accident.

An introduction to free motion sewing where you can essentially ‘draw with the sewing machine’ came one year when her Mother talked her into classes at the Australasian Quilting Convention. After realising the textures, sheen and tactile nature you can get using textiles and mixed mediums in your artworks, Neroli found it hard to go back to conventional media and a new niche for her was formed.

Neroli has since gone on to exhibit and sell internationally and has won many awards. Her work is in both private and commercial collections and has been featured in many magazines, books and juried exhibitions worldwide — as well as much shared on blogs and social media.

Authoring over 30 published magazines articles Neroli was a;so the Editor of fine art textile magazine Textile Fibre Forum from Dec 2014 to December 2016. She also runs the Facebook Textile Arts group with over 18,000 members worldwide.



2017 - Stitch Fetish V, The Hive Gallery, LA, USA

2016-2017 - A Matter of Time, Australia, NZ and UK (March 2016–October 2017)

2016 - World Quilt Competition, USA, 2016 & 2015 (Honorary Mention, 2016)

2016 - International Quilt Festival Houston, USA (Finalist)

2016 - Australasian Quilting Convention, Australia, (Finalist)

2015 - One Step Further, Mildura Art Gallery, Australia, (Judges Choice and Viewers Choice)


other work by the artist
Neroli Henderson

neroli henderson

St. Kilda, Victoria,  [AU]




art scene today Q & A

Q: Where do you see yourself in the art scene today?
A: I’ve been really lucky in finding a love of working in a niche medium. My artworks incorporate fabric, machine quilting and mixed media, along with more conventional mediums like paint. This has given my work a sense of uniqueness and helped it stand out. It’s also enabled me to incorporate more sumptuous textures, sheens and intrigue than I could ever have achieved with painting alone.
Q: What is in your inspiration?
A: I broke my upper back quite badly in my early 20’s and had to spent much of my time lying down in the 7 years that followed. I still have back pain but can manage it if I don’t let myself sit or be stationary too long. This has impacted my work hugely and is why so much of it explores the human body, isolation, loss, and a general feeling of being out of control. As I’ve gotten stronger my work has started to show figures in more tenacious poses, often looking more serene and at peace.
Q: What are your challenges?
A: That aforementioned broken back :). It does mean I can’t work as much as I would like, or even every day that I would like. Also to some degree my work often involves nudes and these can be too ‘out there’ for many exhibitions (even art gallery ones!) that show quilts. Working in textiles can also have a downside as it’s really hard for people to truly envision what you do, even after seeing photos. Most seem really blown away when they see them in real life and that’s when I realise that pictures just aren’t a great way of introducing people to this style of artwork.
Q: How did you/do you choose your medium?
A:  My Mum dragged me to a large Aussie quilting convention. At the time I thought it would score me some brownie points in spending time with her, but expected to be utterly bored. I had no idea you could draw with your sewing machine or create collage from fabrics. It was a huge eye-opener and I haven’t looked back. I tend to pick and choose the best medium for each part of a work, meaning that there can be several different techniques and mediums in different parts of an art piece, stitched together to create a whole.
Q: Which artist has influenced you the most?
A:  I don’t know that I have one, for this piece it’s certainly reminiscent of M.C. Escher, but most of my work doesn’t seem to have a comparable inspiration artist. I tend to use a lot of photography and silk in my new works, and heavily stitch these photos on ultra fine silk. I don’t know of anyone else doing that though I am sure there is more than one out there.

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