World-renowned artist Cynthia Morgan will hold a Retrospective Textile Art Show in Bundaberg to support Marcus Mission and raise awareness to prevent suicide.
Cynthia has donated her quilts to the Retrospective Textile Art Show organised by her daughter Andree Roberts to raise awareness and money for the suicide prevention initiative Marcus Mission in the Bundaberg Region.
Suicide awareness is close to the pairs’ heart as Marcus, who is Andree’s son and Cynthia’s grandson, died five years ago. The initiative was started to raise awareness and help prevention of self harm in young men, not only in the local community, but throughout Queensland.
Andree said Marcus Mission aimed to reduce the risk of death for young men aged 18-44 years through building skills for young men, suicide prevention training, and the development of a volunteer mentor network.
The money raised at the Retrospective Textile Art Show will go towards supporting these initiatives.
“The fundraising from this exhibition will feed directly into Bundaberg and help people here,” Andree said.
“If you love textiles come along and meet Cynthia, and the other thing is if you have lost someone to suicide and want to support others in the community with the programs that are offered come along for that.
“There will be a Marcus Mission Remembrance Tree where people who have lost someone can buy a leaf and write a message about their person; that’s a way to involve people who may have lost someone too.”
More than 60 pieces at Retrospective Textile Art Show
Along with the Marcus Mission Remembrance Tree to raise funds for suicide prevention, Cynthia will also be selling 60 of her textile artworks to help the cause.
Cynthia, 85, uses a variety of materials to capture her surroundings to create masterpieces in fabric; from dramatic Australian landscapes to beautiful and serene imagery that all comes to life stitch by stitch.
Designing and making quilts for half a century Cynthia believes there are few media that offer the same flexibility as textiles to help an artistic expression of life itself.
Through the age-old traditions of quilting the individuality of different fibre are explored in detail, and a new artform emerges.
The artist tested in their ability to express the personalities of the media, and through their craft they create a personal bond between viewer and art.
Andree said even people without an interest in art would be captured by the expression in her mother’s work, and there would be something for everyone at the Retrospective Textile Art Show.
“Cynthia is a very talented but humble women who has exhibited work in New York, Japan and London,” Andree said.
“She has sold work to people in Germany and Alaska, she is pretty amazing and here she is doing this for Bundaberg, and I appreciate that so much!”
A little piece of Paradise captured in textile art
One of Cynthia’s quilts knowns as Paradise holds a special place in Andree’s heart as it contains significant memories, and even keepsakes from her mother’s past.
Andree said her mum had created the artwork after a medical emergency when Cynthia had passed away but was brought back to life by doctors.
Cynthia named it Paradise and said it was a place she visited at that time.
“Mum actually passed away and they saved her in the hospital after two lots of surgeries and she finished this after she got better, I painted the bird as she was still quite ill, and she called it paradise because she said she had been there!” Andree said.
Paradise also contains significant pieces of material from their lives, including a skirt Cynthia wore in the 1960s and her 62-year-old wedding dress.
“I used to teach at Bundy High, and this has the 100-year-old table clothes that were thrown out and I recycled them,” Andree said.
“It has so much personal memory for me, so I actually own this one.”
Retrospective Textile Art Show details
Andree said she was glad something positive was able to come from the loss of her son, and she hoped the community approach to suicide awareness would be able to show people they could reach out and help someone who may be in need.
“I can’t save my son, it’s too late for that, but I can help others and that’s what Marcus Mission is about,” she said.
“I encourage everyone to come down check out the exhibition, and I hope it helps with connection and support for those who need it.”
The Retrospective Textile Art Show will be held at the School of Arts Building between Friday, 1 November to Thursday, 7 November from 10am to 3pm daily, with the opening night starting at 6pm, or by appointment.