Brenda Gael Smith is an award winning artist who designs and creates contemporary textile art in her home studio in Copacabana, NSW Australia. Born in New Zealand, she made her first traditional quilt in 1984, but it took until the turn of the century before Brenda returned to quiltmaking, which has since developed into a compelling and rewarding avocation.
Brenda is also an experienced curator, having curated and managed several themed textile art exhibitions that have travelled internationally to great acclaim. Brenda also teaches, judges, writes and exhibits her own work widely.
I got to speak to Brenda in person at the Christchurch Quilt Symposium where Brenda was teaching, lecturing, accompanying the exhibition ‘A Matter of Time’ (one of her curated travelling textile art exhibitions) and last, but definitely not least, was the chief judge for the symposium exhibition.
Brenda and I have a wide ranging discussion covering topics such as her journey into becoming an artist, how she became an exhibition judge and curator and her upcoming solo exhibition (Gosford Regional Gallery, NSW, Australia, January 13th till February 14th 2018).
We also discuss what influence her role as one of the 'twelves' - the international 12 x 12 textile art challenge - has had in developing her voice and her series work. We also learn how Brenda has recently completed another regular creative practice project, completing 52 weekly textile sketches , abstracting the natural world she sees on her daily walks around her home town.
|Week 49 Cochrone Lagoon|
Brenda and I talk about her role as head judge of the National Quilt Symposium, including how the process worked for her and the other two judges, Philip Trusttum and Marianne Hargreaves and what made the best in show winner, Fly by Donna Ward, stand out from the crowd.
The final exhibition of A Matter of Time will be at The International Quilt Festival, Houston, Texas, from 28th October till 5th November 2018 with floor talks with Brenda at 11am and 2pm Thursday 2nd till Sunday 5th with one at 5.30pm on Saturday 4th.
Thanks for chatting with me Brenda!
Where to find out more about Brenda or to get in touch with her: