Winter Weather Inspires Fire and Ice Exhibition at Port Stephens Community Arts Centre

Sylvia Heath, a feature artist at Port Stephens Community Arts Centre.

PORT Stephens Community Arts Centre offers a range of exhibitions throughout the year.

The current exhibitions, on display until 12 July, are ‘Fire and Ice’ and ‘Spinners and Weavers’.

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Fire and Ice is a display of strong contrasting elements.

Spinning and weaving is the art of producing yarn using the raw fibre of wool, alpaca, silk, mohair, and others.

The raw product is prepared by combing and carding.

Meryl Miller of the Port Stephens Community Arts Centre told News Of The Area, “Our spinners and weavers have the unique skill of taking raw materials to create usable products using additional crafts such as felting, dying, knitting, crocheting where fibres can be used to make unique garments to keep you toasty warm.”

The centre’s current featured artist is Sylvia Heath, who started her working career as a visual merchandiser, working as a window dresser in the UK.

In 1970, with her husband David and our two children, they emigrated to South Africa.

Here she continued as a freelance window dresser for many years.

At the same time, she had great fun producing stage Revues for Rotary for many years, thereby raising quite a lot of money for local charities.

Sylvia was involved with everything from acting, to helping with costume design, to creating one-off costumes, and a myriad of other tasks involved in putting a season together.

Sylvia didn’t think about painting until the age of 55 when her sister Kate, a beautiful artist in her own right, said,“you’ve tried everything else, have a go at painting.”

Sylvia started painting in South Africa in 1999 in water colour then moved onto oils and pastels.

She has enjoyed several commissions over the years for wildlife paintings and won first prize in the wildlife category at The Cape Art Society in Simons Town.

She also won several prizes at the KirstenBosch Art Show.

Sylvia moved to Australia in 2017 to Corlette after spending 46 years in South Africa.

“Sylvia paints in most mediums, but particularly enjoys working with pastels.

“Sylvia loves painting wildlife and flowers,” Meryl said.

“These elements are what inspire and delight her!”

By Marian SAMPSON

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