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Her Light in Native Colours

Nearly one month of isolation and some rising melancholia in missing cuppas with my daughters, I found myself reflecting on an artwork I created several years ago.

Sandra Angliss, Chair for International Women Artists’ Association Australia Inc. extended an invitation to participate in Her Light in Native Colours: Her Presence in Colours VII Australian Chapter 2006

Artists were invited to create artworks reflecting their personal social and cultural backgrounds, culminating in an exhibition at Manningham Gallery in Melbourne in celebration of Cultural Diversity Week.

I am in possession of an Art Deco tea trolley that became the basis for the artwork. A description for TEATIME and my artist statement for the exhibition are below:









The Duchess of Bedford is credited with inventing afternoon tea about 1840.  My ancestors emigrated to Australia in the late 1840’s bringing with them traditions from the ‘Mother Country’.

Although transition into a new life in Australia offered far reaching experiences and investigations; formed traditions were passed onto the next generations. Within my family, from mother to daughter the pleasure of enjoying each other’s company over a ‘cuppa’ continues to enrich our lives.  During teatime we chat, discuss, inform, plan and grow.

Using my Aunty Nell’s tea trolley, I have included the names of my female ancestors, my generation and the next two generations of females in my family.

Their birth years and names reflect the influential history of my female line.

Thanks to my sister Carol for her genealogy expertise and Ian Graham (Glass art) for his etching and assistance.

Artist Statement

In creating my artworks, a major influence is history, being a combination of long and short-term collective events, rituals or personal memories.

Production includes working in multiples to form a series or a single artwork.

Major interests are in the diversity of people, cultures and environments, particularly regarding spirituality within personal and cultural belief systems.

I completed a Master of Fine Art in 2002 at RMIT Melbourne Campus and in the same year traveled to China.   Since then I continue to work between my studios in Melbourne and Beijing where projects, research and influences from both cultures are integrated and reflected in my artwork production.

Mediums are varied to suit the particular installation with consideration for the site or environment.  Indoor and outdoor installations, site-specific works and individual artworks include materials such as textiles, paper, organic elements, found objects, porcelain, glass or bronze.

Denise Keele-bedford

To view the full image: Select and click on first image – click on the i in a circle RHB of opened page then select View Full Size.

A Public Program was included with the exhibition and I was invited to present a talk on my 2004 Bundanon Artist-In-Residence experience. After two years I was very surprised to read the diaries written during the residency in preparation for the talk. I decided to read extracts from the diaries as part of the presentation and slide show which were well received by the audience.

Thanks Cecelia Bedford for photography: Two details (cup, saucer, jug) and promotional header images.

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