Quilting meets canvas in Astro Rocks exhibition

The natural environment, Aboriginal cultural themes, art and craft came together in an inspiring and beautiful exhibition forming part of the Mount Magnet Astro Rocks Fest 2019.

Aboriginal artists from Badimia and Wajarri country based in Mount Magnet and Yalgoo collaborated with members of the West Australian Quilters Association (WAQA) to present the Wirnda Barna Canvas and Quilt art exhibition.

The quilting element of the collaborative exhibition had its origins when WAQA member Pat Forster attended a Geotourism workshop in 2018 run by Geoparks WA.  There, she was inspired by a presentation by Karen Morrissey OAM, Mount Magnet Shire Councillor and founder of the Astro Rocks Fest.

Subsequently, Pat, Karen and a Wirnda Barna artist representative met and the exhibition was agreed. Quilts were created and the first showing was at the Spring into Parks Astrotourism Workshop in September 2019. This involved FACET (Forum for Advocating Cultural and Eco-Tourism), the WA Parks Foundation, Geoparks WA and Astrotourism WA and was hosted at the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.

Twenty-one hand sewn quilts depicting geological landscapes and the night skies of the Murchison and northern regions were included in the exhibition which was held at the Wirnda Barna Art Centre and Gallery in Mount Magnet.

“The purpose of the Mt Magnet Quilt Project,” Pat Forster said, “is to foster and support reconciliation though better appreciation of Aboriginal history and culture.

“The emphasis is on regional subject matter that relates particularly to Aboriginal concepts and Dreamtime stories of earth and sky.”

For further information on the Mount Magnet Quilt Project and the Wirnda Barna Art Centre and Gallery:



Quartz and Jam and Mulga by Elizabeth Humphreys (2019), photo by Meg Cowey