The Newcastle creative embroiderers and textile artists group have used IKIGAI as the theme for their 2023 exhibition of creative textiles. IKIGAI is a Japanese word which combines "iki" meaning life with "gai" meaning worth. NCEATA members have have interpreted this theme as your life passions / what gets you out of bed in the morning / what helps you get through the day / what makes you truly contented / what gives meaning and worth to your life.
Members of this vibrant group come from across the Hunter and Sydney areas and as far south as Camden and have continued working creatively together throughout the isolation of the pandemic.
QUIETNESS by Ann Harper
Creating for me is simultaneously mindful meditation and an energy and mood enhancer (much needed after the Covid years). I was confronted by feelings of powerlessness, so my random stitchig brought peace and simplicity into my life.
ERICA by Ann-Maree Kelly
A reflection on family, fibre and the imperative to stitch.
JOY by Ann-Maree Kelly
This work explores process rather than product and the idea that there is always more to explore.
BUSH by Connie Allen
I hate being idle and challenge myself to draw and stitch every day.I also love slow stitching. This shed in the bush demonstrates some of my daily efforts.
RSPCA by Connie Allen
This was my challenge to use a First Day envelope and to incorporate my daily drawing and stitching routine.
WATTLE WONDERS by Connie Allen
Creating is always part of my life with drawing and stitching a daily routine. My challenge was to also use a First Day envelope.
WHAT IF - HOW ABOUT by Doris Baxter-Gordon
I started with black fabric which was then shibori tie dyed, bleached and embroidered. My curiosity leads to its transformation and is one of my reasons for being.
LIFE'S A STITCH by Jill Wagner
It is my impatience for the next day to start so I can stitch some more that confirms that this is my ikigai. Knitting, tapestry, cross stitch, embroidery and patchwork all feature here - old abandoned projects are given new life.
THE CONQUEST - SOLDIER ON by Jill Wagner
This sample of the Bayeux Tapestry has been in my life for 44 years. It's completion feels like a conquest and just like William the Conquerer, I indeed had to soldier on to reach a new level of creativity. The right hand side depicts the culmination of William's journey, the Battle of Hastings. This work is a stitching journey, my ikigai.
ENTICEMENT by Judi Nikoleski
Growing food, art making and textiles form a large part of my ikigai. A fertilised flower entices me to do more pardening with the promise of a large pumpkin.
FRUITFUL by Judi Nikoleski
My ikigai: growing an edible garden, art making and textiles. The prickly dragonfruit cactii are tolerated for the prolific and delicious fruit to come.
TENDRILS by Judi Nikoleski
Three of my passions come together: growing an edible garden, art making and textiles. The tendrils of cucumber plants take the vines higher to make my garden beautiful.
FLOWERS SPILL FROM KEW GARDENS by Kate Highland
Three of my passions, gardening, travel and stitching, are encompassed in this work. I dislike cutting flowers so the original bowl of flowers is inverted to become the dome in Kew Gardens, London. The creative process of stitching delights me.
DRAWN BY NATURE by Maija Manou
My sketchbook has been created over time and contains artwork that expresses my life long interest in artmaking and textiles. Combining techniques and media is a life long passion.
PODS by Maija Manou
These organic forms and natural textures speak to me of growth and the unfolding of new ideas and processes, my ikigai.
FAITH by Robyn Cohen
Once a project is started or decided upon, ideas and what's next wake me for the day, anxious to get started.
HOPE by Robyn Cohen
BREATH by Ruth Spence
The rhythm and repetition of stitching, my preferred creative medium, pays homage to my breath. There is no life without breath but for me there is also no life without stitch.
BUCKET LIST MEMORIES by Sandra Cooke
I wake up in the safety of our home knowing that I am free to travel this colourful land and that our loving family and friends are there to share in our adventures.
COMPLEMENTS By Sandra Cooke
Complementary colours excite me and to be able to put them together into a useful gift for a special person, gives me great satisfaction.
WASTE COAT by Shirley Bjornsson
I like to use things most people consider scrap and turn them into something useful or attractive.
PLAYING IN THE GARDEN 1 by Suzanne Russell
I have a passion for playing in the garden and getting my hands dirty. Most of my garden is eucalypts as shown in my eco dyed applique with scattered leaves. The background design is based on a spider's web and the colours show the diversity of foliage and flowers.
PLAYING IN THE GARDEN 2 by Suzanne Russell
SPIRALS by Suzanne Russell
I love design and often the circle and spiral motif feature in my work especially as so many thoughts swirl through my mind to finalise design and technique. My passion for handmade and hand dyed as well as hand embroidery is evident.
THE COLOURS OF LIFE by Trish Thompson
Being immersed in colour and movement through patchwork and dance gives me pleasure every day.
OCEAN DREAMS by Wendy Scott
My affinity with the ocean is a life long theme. I also have my own favourite , bright, glowing colours and a passion for curves. This work reflects all of these.
CONNECTED by Wilma Simmons
The connections and interactions I enjoy with other people give purpose, meaning and joy to my life. One of the groups of like-minded people I have regular contact with is the Wednesday Makers Group at Timeless Textiles. This stitching celebrates their enthusiasm and commitment to creativity and social justice.
FRAGMENTS OF A FORTUNATE LIFE by Wilma Simmons
This assemblage represents facets of my fortunate life - each give worth to it and makes living more than existence. The fragments represent to me: love, family, friendship, connection, identity, place, culture, knowledge, history, freedom, diversity and creativity. How do you interpret these fragments?