Barbara Stephensen | Reef High Tea

SKU: barbara-stephensen Category:


Strips of discarded blankets and clothing have been wrapped and twisted until the soft yielding fabric takes on solid dense forms. Reminiscent of a childhood dolls’ tea party. Are they food or flowers? Cake or coral? The sugary pastel colour palette is dominated by off-white, reflecting on the dying beauty of bleaching coral.
The timeless ritual of a high tea elevates food into an art form. As we frock up elegantly do we spare a thought of the detriment sugar production has on our reef?

Another slice of cake anyone?

Materials Upcycled felt, woolen blankets and clothing, found vintage china

Measurements (mm) H 300 W 450 L 600

Estimated cost to post within Australia $42.50


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About Barbara Stephensen

Barbara Stephenson (Brisbane 1957) is a maker and art activist working with upcycled materials and found objects.

Barbara’s playful approach began in childhood, making art with her artist father and sewing with her mother’s dressmaking scraps. As an early childhood teacher, she made art with children. Since retiring in 2007, her art practice has developed from techniques adapted from dressmaking, collage, patchworking, basket weaving and rugmaking. Barbara works with textiles for their texture, colour, and their stories of past use.

Barbara won the 2019/2020 Textile Art Prize Queensland Regional Art Awards for her piece raising awareness of loss of diversity. Her striking standing wool textiles have been selected as finalist pieces in The National capital art Prize 2023, Lethbridge Landscape Art Prize 2023, and the Art Textile Biennale 2020 Fibre Arts Australia.
Solo exhibitions: Safeguard: Warwick Art Gallery July/August 2023; and Ebb and Flow: Gatakers Art Space Maryborough, March 2023

Instagram @barbarakstephenson


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