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2015 JOYFUL & TRIUMPHANT | Christmas at The Johnston Collection

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Thursday 5 November 2015 – Wednesday 24 February 2016

Fairhall house-museum will be adorned with the exquisite work of more than 170 artists and craftspeople from the Gippsland region in the spectacular Christmas at The Johnston Collection 2015 exhibition JOYFUL & TRIUMPHANT which opens on 5 November.

The popular annual Christmas at The Johnston Collection exhibition is held from November to February each year, and showcases the work of country-based artists and craftspeople from around Victoria, with a particular region featured each year.

This year The Johnston Collection is delighted and honoured to present the work of craftspeople and artists from Gippsland who have created pieces inspired by the Collection and which will be displayed throughout the rooms of the house-museum, to be viewed against the backdrop of William Johnston’s extraordinary collection.

Working with Creative Gippsland, a collaborative cultural tourism network, participants include Bairnsdale Lacemakers, Cooinda Hill; Fusion FAN Inc.; Gum Leaf Quilters | Churchill Neighbourhood Centre; Latrobe Country Guidance Group; PAGE | Paper Art Gippsland East; Primary Patchworkers of Sale; Riviera Quilters; Sale Lacemakers; The Bond Family;The Cake Decorators Association of Victoria Inc.(Warragul Committee and Leongatha Branch); The Embroiderers Guild, Victoria (Leongatha Country Group); The West Gippy Group (Members of the Baw Baw Arts Alliance) | Bbaandit Yarners; and independent artists Susan Cock; Heather Costigan; George Crone, Marion Dawson; Beryl Farr; Cheryl Kane; Jackie McNamee; Gwenneth Poore and Jenny Romano.
The makers have been working on their pieces for over eighteen months with some individual pieces taking hundreds of hours to complete. The Sale Lacemakers for example, spent more than 600 hours creating their exquisite lacework decorations. Dollmaker, Jenny Romano, worked on her miniature figure of ‘Mr Johnston’ for many months. This tiny replica of The Johnston Collection’s benefactor is dressed immaculately in a suit and holds two books and a tiny Christmas stocking, all painstakingly created in miniature. And for their contribution to the Christmas exhibition, the Baw Baw Arts Alliance have made a life-size boar’s head using felting techniques, creating a centrepiece fit for a Christmas feast.
In the process of making their work for The Johnston Collection, the makers often continue the domestic crafting traditions of meeting to talk and tell stories while they work on their pieces. In some instances, whole communities were involved in the creation of the work. The Gum Leaf Quilters from Churchill for example, engaged a number of adults with physical or mental disabilities in the community to assist in making some of the items. Participants in this project reported that there was “wool everywhere” and “a lot of laughter and enjoyment”.

The work of spinners, yarners, patchworkers, embroiderers, lacemakers, quilters, cake decorators, glassworkers, beaders, and a host of other crafts and arts are all brought together in this truly magnificent show.
Supported by Creative Gippsland, JOYFUL & TRIUMPHANT is a collaborative arts initiative comprising all six Gippsland municipalities: Latrobe City, Bass Coast Shire, Baw Baw Shire, South Gippsland Shire, East Gippsland Shire and Wellington Shire.

This exhibition will promote the work of Gippsland artists and craftspeople to a large state-wide audience, bringing recognition and appreciation of the extraordinary creative work from this region.
The Johnston Collection is a house-museum with an amazing collection of Regency, Georgian and Louis XV antiques arranged within a domestic setting, with three guided tours daily Monday to Friday. William Johnston (1911 – 1986) was a prominent 20th century antique dealer and collector who bequeathed his former residence, Fairhall, and collection to the people of Victoria.

For further information, images or interviews, please contact:
Felicity Cook or Fil Natarelli
T: 03 9416 2515 E:

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