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Artists Anne Williams and Louise Wells are displaying their work at Mundaring Arts Centre.

Hills bushland inspires textile exhibition

By Morgan De Smidt

TEXTILE artists Anne Williams and Louise Wells’ collaborative body of work It’s a Matter of How You Look at Things is on display tomorrow at the Mundaring Arts Centre.

The pair drew inspiration from the small and seemingly insignificant elements of their surrounds on regular walks around their neighbourhoods.

Wells said the idea came about after she began walking daily to improve her fitness.

“Every morning I’d walk 3.5km around Inglewood,” she said.

“I started noticing things, little changes throughout the seasons because I am walking the same route every day.

“Anne lives in Gooseberry Hill and walks on the Railway Heritage Trail and we realised we made similar connections.”

The two women share close ties with Mundaring Arts Centre, most recently having participated in the group exhibition Tied Up With String.

Mrs Wells’ interest in textiles began when she undertook a specialist arts program in high school.

She received an associate diploma in textiles in 1983 from the Western Australian Institute of Technology now known as Curtin University.

Wells has been a finalist in the York Botanic Art Prize, Collie Art Prize, and Australian Textile Award.

Her artwork in It’s a Matter of How You Look at Things includes a 3m collection of 360 pictures of the colour of the sky.

The images come from her morning walks around Inglewood and artwork based on her fascination with the native Banksias in the area.

“With COVID we have had to become much more aware of our local surroundings,” she added.

“Anne and I also went on each other’s walks, she walked on my route and discovered things I hadn’t noticed before.

“She has created beautiful botanical drawings and embroideries of locals in the hills walking their dogs.”

Williams is a former art teacher who helped develop the craft curriculum for Steiner schools in Western Australia.

She is renowned for her intricate experimentation with natural dyeing, hand-stitching, and use of recycled materials.

It’s a Matter of How You Look at Things serves as a reminder that inspiration can be found anywhere, but it is dependent on how you look for it.

This thought-provoking exhibition is on show at Mundaring Arts Centre from February 5 to April 3.

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