Travelling Flowers of Friendship visit Rainbow Beach

Six Rainbow Beach artists were able to see their result of their and over 300 other contributions when an original piece of artwork arrived in Rainbow Beach.

Most of the participants, aged from 2 to 91 years, are from south-east Queensland. The result is a unique, colourful, eye-catching, handmade community textile artwork, testament to the collaborative and creative spirit of Queenslanders

Each year since 1995 there has been an Artist-in-Residence at Brisbane Botanic Gardens at Mt Cootha. These have included painters, sculptors, musicians, writers and textile artists.

Tricia Smout, a lettering and mixed-media artist, had the privilege of being selected as the 2012 Artist-in-Residence.

Tricia’s friend, Rainbow Beach resident Denise Berry, encouraged local artists to contribute to the project and six gorgeous flowers were received from Sabine Deimel, Lil Kahl, Margot McGhie, Ruby McLean, Denise Metcalfe and Colleen Yallowley.

The “Flowers of Friendship” project had 355 contributors who created 495 flowers in a wide range of mediums including fabric, yarns, paper, metal, clay, plant fibres. The techniques consisted of painting, embroidery, appliqué, knitting, crochet, felting, quilting, knitting, pottery, dyeing, collage, patchwork, paper art, beading, weaving, fibre sculpture and papermaking.

Tricia has sewn the flowers together in eleven hangings, each 180cm long and 40cm wide.

Tricia says “The squares are framed with strips of dark green sashing, on which ‘flowers of friendship’ was written several times in gold. The corners of each square are tied with golden ‘knots of friendship’.”

“During the Residency, the hangings were displayed at my three exhibitions at Mt Coot-tha, and then during 2013 they have been exhibited in various venues in south-east Queensland … most recently in Rainbow Beach.”

Tricia brought the hangings, as well as many of her other collaborative projects completed during her Residency, to show to the members of the Rainbow Beach Craft Group and the Tin Can Bay Quilters and Craft Club.

“I feel really privileged to meet the six local makers.”

The sentiment was likewise for the local residents, as Tricia is known as a “prolific creator of beautiful, quirky, environmentally-themed art.”

Tricia enjoyed sharing the flowers as well as gorgeous nature-based art, including spider webs, vines and lizards, that appeal across generations.

Tricia is now hoping to find a prominent, easily-accessible venue where the hangings can be displayed in a permanent location, so they can be viewed by the contributors and visiting members of the public. See more photos from the day on the RBCCCN website and facebook page.

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