Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Donna Caffrey

Artist’s statement

Research Overview

My art journey started after moving to Sydney in 2000 with stitch.  I was encouraged on the way by an incredibly supportive group. I took up drawing classes with the thought of designing my own embroideries and ended up at life drawing workshops and sketch clubs trying to work out how to represent a body. Wanting to understand the human face led me down a sculpture path using cloth and contemporary clays.

My interests are eclectic and I am largely self-taught.  My art practise involves study and playing with paint, clay, collage, textiles and threads.  I am still chasing my art voice.  When possible, if the subject/theme permits, I will combine different mediums and methods of presentation.

The tactile experience of clay; the tearing, cutting and laying of papers, the feel of fabric in my hand and meditative stitching takes me to my ‘happy place’. Through these mediums I capture a time, a moment, images and feelings of a place and of my place in the world. Social comment, elements of space, horizons and distance variously appear in my work - be they urban, rural or outer space.

Pivotal to my development are classes and workshops taken with British embroider Jean Draper and Australian artists Carolyne Sullivan (textile artist), Lex Sorrentino (contemporary clay) and Susie McMahon (doll maker).

I have been fortunate to be part of a group of textile artists whose three exhibitions have toured regional NSW and been hung in Sydney between 2008 to 2019.   Since moving to Albury in 2015 I have had made wonderful connections and friendships with local artists and exhibited with them on a number of occasions as well as putting on solo exhibitions.

I enjoy teaching and run workshops using various mediums (often in conjunction with exhibitions) and believe everyone has a creative ember waiting to spark.  It is a delight when participants give themselves permission to allow their imagination to run free and discover that they too can make art.