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Aspiring Artist

Meet Crystalbrook Bailey's aspiring artists

We're delighted to welcome the Serendipity Textilers to Crystalbrook Bailey as our aspiring artists for the months of August and September. Their exhibition, Creative Connection, combines their unique hand-crafted artforms with a personal message from the heart. Founded on passion and shared experiences, the group are constantly innovating with new techniques, practices and sustainability (all over a cup of tea). 

Join us for the opening night at Crystalbrook Bailey as we celebrate the arts in Cairns.

Friday 4 August 2023 from 6:00pm. Free to attend in the Crystalbrook Bailey lobby.

Meet the artists

Serendipity Textilers originally formed in 2009 as an independent group of textile and fibre artisans who sought a creative connection. Meeting socially on a weekly basis at a local community hall, the group share ideas, processes and completed projects over a cup of tea. A cherished and fulfilling project, each member of the group brings a different skillset, passion and unique artform.

A Group Of People

Carol Coates - “Numerous textile processes have featured throughout my entire life, both as a student, and a tutor. Having facilitated many major events regarding arts, crafts and textiles, I’ve been proud to achieve this effectively, and continue to do so. I founded the group because the members required this outlet to express their talent.  Of late, sewing distress quilts has been a needed contribution that keeps me connected to general community. I also enjoy handmaking books that involve challenges and encourage forethought for new ideas. I aim to continue creating to nurture my soul and to pass on my experience as well.”

Beth Culanti - “I first learnt to sew basic embroidery stitches when I was nine years old. A greater love of embroidery came in my thirties when I learnt how to do more complicated stitches. I used these stitches on different fabrics, using threads, silk ribbons and beads to create colourful coral scenes. I felt so proud to create these scenes back then and this feeling has continued. What a joy this journey has been.”

Carey Leahy - "I started sewing my own clothes at about 13 years of age with my Mum’s support. When I left home, I began buying second-hand clothes and often adjusted them to my personal style and fit. Later, with young children at home, I started doing some patchwork and quilting.  I’ve always enjoyed collecting and working with textiles. Since joining the Serendipity Textilers over 8 years ago, I have added wool-felting and fabric eco-dying to my interests and skills. I now find my interest leans more towards small art pieces that can be either utilitarian or purely for visual and tactile enjoyment. I especially enjoy making fabric journals and small landscape images that can be framed and gifted to family and friends. The weekly Serendipity gathering, means being able to share knowledge and experiences in a small interest group and is a valued social connection with like-minded people.”

Jenny Culanti  -“I grew up in a household where craftwork was everyday life and a project was always on the go, be it weaving coat hanger covers, or doing leatherwork and so on.  My generation, girls attended sewing classes from a young age so a joy of seeing beauty come from a needle and thread was normal. As my mother, and my aunts passed, they remained, in the embroideries, tatting and crochet they left behind for us. I did tapestries during my spare time, finding it soothing. Eventually I gave it away due to a number of completed pieces. On retiring, my sister introduced me to the Serendipity Textilers. A group with a variety of skills, who willingly share their knowledge, along with a cup of tea and biscuits. Amongst these ladies, I have found the confidence to explore different crafts, like eco-dyeing, crocheting, and lately, patchwork.  They have taught me not to stress, as there is always a way to alter and to experiment with my pieces. I cherish time spent here. Even though I feel others are more skilled and committed than I am, they are encouraging, they listen, and they share their experience, positivity, and knowledge freely. Craft is a journey of discovery, a connection to people, and that’s what they let me enjoy.”

Pam Pavloff - “Many crafts feature in my life including crocheting, weaving, basketry, leather work and sewing. My mother and grandmother were my early teachers and I have had formal training in textiles as well. Presently I crochet rugs and beanies for ‘The FNQ Crochet for Cancer’ group that donate to the oncology clinics at all the local hospitals. Learning and socialising at our Wednesday Serendipity Textilers group keeps me involved in new techniques. Crafts are an important part of my general well being. “

Gloria Mitchell - “For more than 40 years, I have been and avid Fibre artist using quality Australian Merino Fleece. I wet felt, dry felt, spin, weave, knit and crochet. My techniques lead to unique one- off pieces that give me a true delight. I approach challenges in my work with enthusiasm and I hope the items I produce will bring joy and beauty to whoever encounters them.”

Cheryl Yates - “I like to make lace, crochet, tatting, bobbin, needle, knitted and anything else that comes along. These keep mind and hands busy. I also like sewing, hand or machine, doesn’t matter. Machine embroidery can be freeform or controlled as the mood dictates. What I produce is gifted to family and they are able to appreciate hand crafts and know that not everything is machine made. Perhaps in the future, they will be able to learn from my example.”

Deb Clarke - “My arts practice is best described as diversified. Variety keeps me thinking creatively.  I love the process of drawing but I also mark make with numerous other materials including thread, wire, glass, seeds, stones and random found objects. I dye fabrics with numerous elements, rust and soils purely for a what-if scenario of unexpected outcomes.  Creating vessels is a favourite so my desire to work with fabrics, papers, as well as with stitch and stains is covered in one go. It seems very therapeutic and is definitely my comfort zone.”

Other key dates

  • 4 August: exhibition opens
  • 4 August: opening night and artist talk from 6:00pm. Free to attend in the Crystalbrook Bailey lobby with a paid bar at Arte Wine Bar
  • 30 September: exhibition closes 


Artwork from the exhibition are available for sale via enquiry here.

Would you like to display your work at Crystalbrook Bailey? We’re calling all talented up-and-coming artists to get involved. Whether it’s your first time or you’ve had your work on display before, you’re invited to take part in Crystalbrook Bailey’s Aspiring Artist programme.