Courses and Residencies 2019

Propose an exhibition for 2020

Do you have a great idea for an exhibition that will appeal to a broad audience 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 pitch your idea to us.

Short Courses 2019

The first weekend of Short Courses will take place on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 May from 9.30am to 4.30pm.

Landscape Basketry with Lissa-Jane de Sailles
Level: All levels| Cost: $310 + materials TBA

Every basket tells a story. Take your weaving skills further in this workshop where you will learn how to weave beautiful patterns into your baskets using colourful twine and wool. We begin by learning the ancient art of twining and how to incorporate asymmetrical patterns into your work. Participants will be able to complete a small basket over the weekend as well as learn how to design a larger project which can be completed independently.

In 2013 Shoalhaven based fibre artist, Lissa de Sailles, won a local scholarship that enabled her to study with master basket maker, the late Jim Wallis. This style of basket was one of Jim’s signature works and as he wished for his work to be carried on after his death, he taught Lissa his repertoire over a period of four months. Since that time, Lissa has added her own touch to these beautiful and unique baskets which reflect the colours and patterns of the Australian landscape.

Origami Surface with Angharad Rixon
Level: All levels| Cost: $310 + materials TBA

You will explore couture pleating, experimenting with traditional corrugated and flat pleats which can be used to create geometric surface patterns. We will look at the process of design pleating and use this newly-learned process to design and make a pleated tote bag in rip-stop nylon that will hold a pleat permanently. This workshop is suited to artists who are looking for techniques to take their 2D textiles into 3-dimensions.

Angharad Rixon is a technical textile historian specialising in lace and passementerie. Her studies in Italy, Switzerland and Spain have led to skills in a variety of off-loom techniques. Ms Rixon lectures in Milan and Florence and consults for museums and universities around the world.

Residencies in 2019

An exciting programme of residencies in 2019 will include a visit in April by two artists from Maruku Arts to work in Punu, traditional wood carving and sculpture. We will welcome Rachel Wood from England for a professional residency in ceramics prior to the opening of her exhibition at Sturt in September. We will also welcome back furniture designer, Isabelle Moore from Scotland, who will be teaching Term 4 in the School for Wood. Graduate residents for 2019 include jewellery maker, Brooke Coutts-Wood, and furniture maker, Wayne Creaser.

Winter School 2019

Online bookings for the Winter School are now open and courses are beginning to fill. Winter School will take place from 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 meals packages, making our Winter School a unique cultural experience.

Our current exhibition…

ALUMNI 2 – new work by selected graduates from Sturt School for Wood 2006-2016 - 17 February to 7 April
The Sturt School for Wood was established in 1985 as an intensive training place for aspiring fine furniture makers and designers. Over 30 years later, the School has built a national and international reputation offering an unrivalled course taught by some of the best fine furniture makers and teachers working in Australia and overseas.

In this follow up exhibition to our first Alumni exhibition staged in 2017, we will showcase makers who graduated from Sturt in the period 2006 to 2016, a time when the School began to establish a national reputation for the quality of the makers it produced.

Artists include: Isabel Avendano, Chris Bartkus, Phoebe Everill, Ian Factor, Bailey Farmer, Ray Garnsey, Mark Gudgin, Steve Harper, Darryl Ingate, Christopher Neal, Darren Oates, Grant Robertson, Adrian Spano, Ruth Thompson and Orest Danylak.

Our next exhibition…

Punu – living wood - 14 April to 2 June
This new collaboration between Sturt and Maruku Arts will feature work by senior artists, Niningka Lewis, Billy Cooley and Lulu Cooley, and over 20 other artists including multiple generations of the Cooley family – David Cooley, Sissy Cooley and Janey Cooley. 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 organisation. This exhibition is a celebration of punu – objects and paintings that incorporate timber.

Niningka Lewis is a skilled punu artist proficient in sculptures and she is also renowned for her walka boards – burnt etching on board where she adds paint in sections often depicting personal memories from her childhood as well as her first connate experiences.

Billy Cooley is a master carver producing intricately carved snakes made from various desert timbers that he sources and shapes to bring to life wanampi water serpents, each one uniquely realistic with distinctive markings that are etched to represent scales and patterns. His work is highly regarded and is in many collections around the world.

Lulu Cooley is Minyma Ulkumunu, a senior Aboriginal Woman. She is a consummate carver specialising in pita and wira traditional bowls. The pita, or wooden bowl, is a traditional woman’s carrying vessel for food and water. Lulu has developed a distinctive scallop pattern to her creations that evolved after observation of her mother’s work.

Billy and Lulu Cooley will be in residency at Sturt for two weeks from 8 April and will give a series of free demonstrations and talks during this time.

In conjunction with this exhibition will be a display featuring work by local Indigenous artists: Peter Swain is a Wiradjuri Warrambinga man and a direct descendant of Peggy and Jimmy Lambert, the Daby people of Rylstone. Peter has been sharing his Aboriginal culture and expertise in schools for the past ten years. He is a practising artist having exhibited his works of mixed media in galleries across NSW, ACT and Victoria. Peter makes tools and artefacts and teaches Boomerang making and throwing. The Yirran Miigaydhu Weavers (in Dharawal meaning many women weaving), will showcase some of their work made from local fibres and native grasses. The group learns traditional methods of making to create works in their individual style such as coil baskets, bark water carriers, dilly bags, animal sculptures, random weave baskets, fishnets and adornments.

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 0248 602083 or email