Basketmakers weave their magic at Benalla Art Gallery

Creative: Red bowl (2022) by Shirley Mills of the Border and North East Basketmakers is part of the latest Benalla Gallery Shop exhibition.

Benalla Art Gallery continues to support local creatives with its latest exhibition WEave.

Throughout July five members of the Border and North East Basketmakers Group have works on display in the Benalla Art Gallery Shop.

Marlene Carty, Chris Dormer, Shirley Mills, Birgit Schonafinger, and Kathy Whelan have created the works using a variety of weaving techniques.

They include pieces made from locally collected natural fibres, paper twine and recycled materials, including wire.

The Border and North East Basketmakers Group, formed in 2005, has 10 members and meets monthly.

The longer-standing, experienced fibre artists are generous teachers to the newer members.

Marlene Carty said some exhibit independently and some run public workshops to give others a chance to experience the joy of basket making.

“(We) wanted to support the Benalla Art Gallery as it provides this opportunity for artists to showcase their work,” Ms Carty said.

“It’s a way to show visitors to the gallery the variety of possibilities that being a fibre artist offers, and why we are all so addicted.”

Benalla Art Gallery director Eric Nash said he was excited by the diverse range of practices the exhibition would present.

“The Gallery Shop exhibitions to date have focused on ceramic and printmaking practices,” Mr Nash said.

“So it will be a real joy to present basketmaking and fibre arts to our community.

“Particularly as this is a group exhibition, there will be a rich array of techniques and materials for visitors to enjoy.”

In January, Benalla Art Gallery announced a process for artists of the region to apply for rotational, monthly exhibitions in the Gallery Shop glass cabinets.

The new program is designed to better promote and support local and regional creative practices.

WEave is the first group exhibition following successful solo Gallery Shop exhibitions by Pauline Fraser, Maggie Hollins, Lorna Hobbs, Susie Buykx, and Joan Mullarvey.

You can apply to exhibit in the gallery shop by visiting