Featured Artists

Get a bit more of a feel for some of the Artisans’ Nest Gallery’s creative workers and their art, with interviews, images and insights into their techniques.

Deborah Mandira

Deborah Mandira

I am a textile artist and am fascinated with any kind of printing and dyeing onto fabric.  I came to textile art rather late in life.  Since beginning my art form, I have concentrated almost exclusively on exploring and developing my love of printing onto fabric.  My main focus is to manipulate fabric and dye.  I use surface design to create images on fabric.  Coming to this art form, not from art school training but from an experimental place, I have created my own original methods for applying dye to the fabrics I love working with, natural fibres like cotton, silk, hemp, linen and bamboo.

I started using synthetic, more conventional dyes, but I now almost exclusively dye with plants and metals and love the organic and surprising results.  I use flowers, leaves, bark, roots and fruit and mixtures of these to create marks and colours through steaming and I also make liquors of quantities of flora which I use with shibori techniques of dyeing.  I collect both native and cultivated plants from wherever I happen to be which is mostly on the South Coast of NSW but previous winters have found me in the tropical north of Queensland.

Some of Deborah’s natural dyed silks hanging in the Artisans’ Nest gallery

I constantly have a number of pieces in some pot or another and try to curb my impatience and curiosity and leave my bundles for as long as I can to deepen the mark making and colour transfer and add complexity.  I am finding this a consuming passion, even more than the printing I began with.  It is one of my objectives to preserve the hand-craft of textile art and design.

You can read more about Deborah and her career on the South East Arts webpage, here.

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