Conversations with the Makers

An array of questions to fibre/textile artists and their answers.

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 Conversation with Glenys Mann, Australia

I am the owner/coordinator of FIBRE ARTS AUSTRALIA... a live-in workshop event that is held twice a year in Australia. There are 18 tutors at each event, from all over the world, that share their knowledge with more than 200 fibre/textile artists at each event, over a 5 day period.

It is the 'love' of my life!!

I also curate national and international fibre/textile exhibitions.

I have been an active member of the textile/fibre world for more than 35 years. I have exhibited and taught internationally and nationally, mainly plant dyed, hand stitched, found wool cloth.

Fibre/textile art and its promotion is my passion! 



Converstaion with the Makers..Did you always envision a life as an artist?

Glenys Mann.. No! it came only when my 4 children were grown up. But I did dabble a little whilst they were small! 


CWTM..What was your first experience with making art?

GM.. Taking the normal sewing foot off the machine and placing the free motion foot on…that opened up a whole new world 


CWTM..Do you have a dedicated studio?

GM.. No…not at the moment…but if you class an industrial table in the office as a studio, then I guess I have one! But my sitting room doubles as a studio space as well!


CWTM..Can you describe a typical day?

GM.. Up at 5.30am. Contend with the emails. Work on what is happening with FIBRE ARTS AUSTRALIA. Bit of gardening. Two days a week I am a Gallery Coordinator, so have to go there. Work in Photoshop…not much stitching is being done at the moment… but that will come! 


CWTM..Would you consider your art making to be more about the process than the outcome?

GM.. At the moment I am not making much…but when I was it was the process that was more important…I am sure that I will get back to that feeling! 


CWTM..Do you agree that a small element of uncertainty about the finished look is what makes the process of creating so enticing?

GM.. Absolutely! I try not to give an artists’ statement to make it even more enticing for the viewer.

  Memory Cloth #8..Worn (detail)

CWTM..Any indispensable tools or equipment?

GM.. At the moment…PHOTOSHOP! 


CWTM..Do your pieces start with a planned course of action or are they more spontaneous?

GM.. More spontaneous.


CWTM..How do you know when to “stop” – when do you consider a piece actually finished?

GM.. Sometimes it is when I run out of thread! Then I know it is finished!!


CWTM..Your greatest source of inspiration is….

GM.. Emotions of the everyday. Found Objects that spark these emotions.

  Collections of 'stuff'

CWTM..Favourite quote?

GM.. " Pointed criticism, if accurate, often gives the artist an inner sense of relief. The criticism that damages is that which disparages, dismisses, ridicules, or condemns." Unknown 


CWTM..When do you do your best creative thinking?

GM.. When I am on a roll it is all my waking hours…no specific time, just constant!


CWTM..What do you enjoy most about your work?

GM.. I have two sides…I like the solitude of hand stitching and the getting together with my friends at my Fibre/Textile events…they are like family to me

 Carolyn and Trish at one of my many events! 

CWTM..Best advice you’ve ever received?

GM.. Be determined to do your best…from my Dad. 


CWTM..Worst advice you’ve ever received?

GM..  Hhmmmmmmmmmm! 


CWTM..Best part of your day?

GM.. Early mornings 


CWTM..Who would be 6 people that you would invite to dinner?

GM.. Bette Midler, Sean Connery, Jade Pegler, Dawn Giglio, my Dad!(if he was alive!!) Pamela Croft. If you knew any or all of these people you would understand just what mayhem would be caused...especially if I was cooking! Not my best forte!


CWTM..What inspires your creativity?

GM.. The need to do!

  My Journals

CWTM..What are you excited about right now in the world of textile art?

GM.. That there are people out there that just keep on pushing the boundaries and they never stop. I can see that there is an evolution towards the textile/fibre arts being accepted in main-stream galleries and this is coming from those that keep pushing the boundaries. 


CWTM..You’d be lost without…

GM.. My computer!!! and my Garden! 


CWTM..What would you do with a few extra hours each day? 

GM.. I found them once!!! And I just kept on doing more of the same…was very exciting! 


CWTM..Your favourite luxury in life? 

GM.. My yearly travel to Flores, Indonesia where I am learning so much on how to live simply, organic dyeing and learning from very humble and extremely talented people

 Weavers selling their cloth in Flores 

CWTM..Has the advancement of computers and technology impacted your work?

GM.. Absolutely! So much so that I am considering making more work that has an inference to cloth than making the cloth art. It is a very exciting time for textile/fibre arts.

 Memory Cloth digitally printed on paper. 

CWTM..What do you enjoy most about your work?

GM.. Being with like-minded souls at my events and watching them bloom with the experiences that I can bring to them.


 CWTM..Is it important for us to be recognized by the art world and if so, how can we help affect that change?

GM.. By being more pro-active about our art. To forget that there is other art genre’s out there and concentrate on the promotion of GOOD fibre/textile art with great exhibitions and top class workshops to encourage the best out of people. 


CWTM..What is next for you?

GM.. More events, hopefully get back to some small stitched pieces. I am curating about 4 exhibitions at the moment…I would love to do more of that. Just to be me…I feel that that is what I want more than anything

   Book.. Relic