Circling Back Exhibition Opening

You are invited to the opening of our next exhibition:

Circling back - 9 June to 28 July

A stunning new exhibition of sculptural work using basketry, woven installations and wall hangings in salvaged metal and natural fibres, explores traces in a rural landscape.

Since childhood, Harriet Goodall was drawn to climb through fences and forage old house sites and farm rubbish dumps where old machinery rusts and falls apart or cars are burnt and left on roadsides. Harriet has always collected haunting relics from these sites and been intrigued by the mysterious energy that lingers when things are abandoned. Nature quickly begins to reclaim the discarded items and the indelible marks of age and decay begin. What remains of us when we leave a place? How long do traces of us remain on the landscape?

‘I am forever circling back, not just in my dreams, but also to collect materials I find by the roadside or in the paddocks. I weave through these fences and burnt out car panels with naturally coloured fibres that mimic the scribbly lines of insects on bark, striations in granite boulders, wending rivers or sheep tracks in dry paddocks. My heart beats for the decay and beauty of inland Australia and this is an elegy for the loss and of feeling that I belong there.’

Raised in rural Australia, Harriet Goodall is a full-time sculptor and basket maker exploring the intersection of traditional craft with contemporary art and design. She has taught regular basketry classes for more than ten years in Australia and internationally, and has pieces in private and commercial collections.

The exhibition opening will take place on Sunday 9 June at 11:00am and will be opened by special guest, Sophie Hansen, author of A Basket by the Door, food writer, blogger, farmer and Australian Rural Woman of the Year (2016).

New weekly class in Jewellery
A new weekly class for adults wishing to learn Jewellery/Metalwork has been scheduled for Wednesday nights in Term 2 from 6:00pm to 9:00pm. There are a few places still available for this class but they will not be available for long. Contact Sturt Shop if you are interested in joining the class.

Winter School is filling up!
Courses are filling fast for our next Winter School that will take place from the 8 to 12 July. This year we have 16 courses on offer for adults plus daily classes for children. Remember that we offer competitive accommodation and meal packages making our Winter School a unique cultural experience. All courses and accommodation can be booked online here.

Propose an exhibition for 2020
Do you have a great idea for an exhibition that will appeal to broad audiences and generate income for artists? If so, we’d love to hear from you. Full details of how to submit an exhibition proposal can be found on our website. We will be planning our 2020 exhibition programme in April so now is the time to put your idea to us.

Short Courses

Our next weekend of Short Courses will take place from Saturday 3 to Sunday 4 August from 9.30am to 4.30pm. Short Courses offered are:

Make a low stool with Evan Dunstone
(This is a 3 day workshop: Friday 2 - Sunday 4 August)
Level: All levels | Cost: $465 + materials $230

The low stool is a simple three-board construction that relies on two critical joints. A ‘bird’s bea” connecting the legs to the top is consistent across all three joinery options. Entry level Students can choose a through-wedged-dowel joint to finish off the Bird’s Beak. Intermediate woodworkers can choose a single through-wedged-tenon option, while advanced woodworkers can choose a twin through-wedged-tenon option.

In this course you will learn marking-out techniques, accurate joinery, tool preparation, sharpening, chisel handling, hand sawing and much more.

Evan is one of Australia’s foremost contemporary chair designers and is represented in galleries throughout the country. Awarded a Churchill Fellowship to study contemporary chair design and manufacture in England and the USA, Evan found the Fellowship his passport to a greater understanding of the craft and a deeper appreciation of design.

Explore rib basketry with Jillian Culey
Level: All levels | Cost: $310 + materials (TBA)

Create three baskets in one weekend exploring the ancient art of Rib Basketry. On day one you will have the opportunity to create two small rib baskets using various weaving and construction techniques, and on day two focus on a larger piece with an opportunity to incorporate your own handmade string.

Jillian Culey is a fibre artist who is inspired by the natural fibres she uses and by the ancient and universal craft of basket weaving. Her work explores the woven form; its delicacy, its strength, its simplicity and its complexity. Jillian designs and creates baskets and sculptural pieces for exhibition, retail stores and private collections.

Our current exhibition… Punu – living wood – continues to 2 June

This new collaboration between Sturt and Maruku Arts features work by senior artists, Niningka Lewis, Billy and Lulu Cooley and over 20 other artists, including generations of the Cooley family.

Maruku Arts support over 900 artists from the communities surrounding Uluru. Based in Mutitjulu Community, and in the shadow of Ayers Rock Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Maruku today is one of the largest and most successful Indigenous owned and operated arts organisations. This exhibition is a celebration of punu - objects and paintings that incorporate timber.

In conjunction with this exhibition will be a display featuring work by local Indigenous artists: Peter Swain who makes tools and Artefacts and teaches Boomerang making and throwing. The Yirran Miigaydhu Weavers (meaning many women weaving in Dharawal) will showcase their work made from local fibres and native grasses. The group uses traditional methods of making to create works in their unique style such as coil baskets, bark water carriers, dilly bags, animal sculptures, random weave baskets, fish nets and adornments.

Mark Viner, Head of Sturt

Full details of all Sturt courses, exhibitions, residency programs and events can be found on our website or to make a booking or enrolment call Sturt Shop on 02 4860 2083 or email