Celebrate spring with a vibrant, joyous exhibition by Michelle Mischkulnig who is a renowned textile artist throughout Australia and has featured in magazines and exhibitions worldwide, including Visions art museum in San Diego.
Her upcoming exhibition at Queenscliff’s Seaview Gallery (4th to 30th September) features framed wall art that is visually stunning and is all about the joy of spring, the garden, colour and texture.
Mrs Mischkulnig said she is a textile artist who uses fabric and fibre which is caught by stitch to tell a story.
“My artwork evokes joy and wellbeing, people find themselves continuing to come back and view the artwork time and time again only to be surprised by finding something new”, she said.
Taking inspiration from artists across many different times and disciplines, such as Juan Romero, Klimt, Gaudi, Monet, Annemeike Mien. Yet what inspires her most is not who but the everyday.
“It’s travel, gardens, the beach, listening to sounds of where you are, be it the footfall on bluestone cobbles or the wind through gumtree leaf clusters up high, observing the movement, the colour, tasting the food and looking at the layers and textures. There is so much inspiration surrounding us”.
When rolling back the years of her work, it’s apparent that Mischkulnig was a natural born creative and supported to pursue the arts from a very young age.
“I have been very privileged to lead a creative life having been born into a family of makers. My mother and grandmother were and are accomplished with the sewing machine, in the garden, knitting and needle work plus a variety of other crafts,” she said.
“I grew up with a designated craft room surrounded by many creative opportunities. Often it was, if you wanted something you made it. This included knitting hammocks, making leather belts and even making a pair of sandals out of old car tyres and suede—they were called ‘treads’ in the 70’s. Creativity is a beautiful way of life. I hardly remember a time when I wasn’t a maker.”
For all her inspirations another fascinating point that gave Mischkulnig international recognition is the fact she’s completely self taught.
“This has made my work quite unique, it does not conform to suit others ideals. As a result I have created a strong and recognisable brand.”
Mischkulnig first started in craft markets where she was always busy selling and is where galleries found and offered her opportunities, including becoming a director in an artist-run gallery for 20 years. Taking each challenge offered to her and sourcing new ones, she now has approximately 27 solo exhibitions and many more with groups.
“My Facebook page was set up about 11 years ago and catapulted me onto the international stage, I now have nearly 90,000 followers. FaceBook allowed me to reach people worldwide and brought new and exciting prospects,” she said.
“Although Facebook opened the world to me, it is my passion for my discipline and my ability to see each artwork as an adventure that has enabled my career to be more than I could have ever expected. I have met wonderful people and been offered exceptional opportunities”.
As her career developed, so did her opportunities to break into the realm of teaching art. Teaching for 8 years now, Mischkulnig has been a guest tutor for Craftours (an American based craft travel company) , a teacher on two tours of Bali and last year was booked to teach in Tuscany until COVID-19 intervened.
“I love to be in a room full of creative people, all sharing life stories and their techniques, being creative together and building new or strengthening old friendships. It is a wonderful place to be”, she said.
“I love teaching and have been lucky enough to teach and be a speaker twice at Art Quilt Tahoe in America and have also been a guest artist and speaker at Visions Museum of Art San Diego”.
Like most artists in the last 18 months, Mischkulnig was forced to maneuver her way through Covid-19. Most of her artwork sells through just a few galleries and having the lockdowns has obviously made selling difficult.
While having lost nearly two years of booked workshops and sometimes struggling to get supplies has been difficult, Mischkulnig remains positive and can see the silver lining.
“On the positive side there have been some beautiful quiet times where I have just been able to create, become more resilient, reinvent ways to teach and being lucky enough to continue to work throughout the pandemic in my studio, a happy place to be”, she said.
When discussing her upcoming exhibition Mischkulnig said she was excited to showcase her latest works.
“I am very excited to be exhibiting at Sea view gallery in Queenscliff in September. The Bellarine Peninsula is my new home and I’m loving regional life. I am so looking forward to becoming part of this amazing creative region”, she said.
“Each piece in the exhibition has a different meaning and has challenged me as an artist. I love trying new techniques and I love the freedom of preparing for an exhibition”.
Mischkulnig will be at the Seaview Gallery on Saturday 4th September for an informal chat.
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