The Arts Lounge Exhibition - June Furness and Susan Pepper


Images: Janette's arrangement by June Furness and Flock 2 by Susan Pepper

About the artists 

June Furness - Doing Doilies

Artist statement

Being confined to the home in the 2020/2021 lockdowns in Melbourne, made me aware of my assortment of doilies. It started when my friend Janette came to visit in a brief period between lockdowns. She brought some flowers and I placed them in a vase on a doily on the table. I thought how lovely they looked.

My fascination with the doily stems from them being so intricate. Women who made these doilies more than eighty years ago spent hours doing the crochet work. It was part of how women spent their leisure time and even when television came about, they would make their doilies whilst watching television. This activity reminded me of my mother who was a great exponent of making doilies.

She would choose a pattern from a pattern book, buy the special thread, and after embroidering a design on fabric, crochet the edges. Choosing the colours to make a pleasing picture was part of the creative process.

My creative impulse was to paint a composition including the many doilies in my collection. I would start with cutting flowers from my garden, choosing a suitable vase, and then finally selecting a doily which reflected the colours and shapes in the flowers. Then I would paint the background to complement the arrangement.

I identified with the women who spent hours making the tiny details in the doilies as I tried to replicate the complicated designs of their needlework. Firstly, I would pencil the design in lightly, before painting it in mainly watercolours and some gouache. It would take me on average about three to four days to finish.

When I started showing people my doily paintings, they became involved with the process. They rummaged in their own linen cupboards and found doilies that they then gave or lent me to put in my compositions. Some were from people’s overseas trips, e.g. Scotland and others were from country Victoria, e.g. Gundagai. It was a lovely way to connect with people when lockdown finally came to an end.

This activity helped me survive many weeks and months in lockdown and now I have a large body of work for others to enjoy.

Susan Pepper - Wild Birds

Artist statement

Wild Birds is a celebration of the unique joy that birds bring us.

We see wild birds in their unique habitats around the globe in hand stitched wall hangings. As well there are three colourful flocks each engaged in the business of birds: flying, nesting and feeding … just for the joy of it!

Each bird, and there are close to 300, is crafted from scraps of cloth and wire - designed, coloured, shaped, sewn, stitched, manipulated, embellished - to become part of a flock. 

The love of making, colour, and of birds chirrups through this exhibition. 

View the exhibition

Jane Furness

Susan Pepper


  • Wednesday, 16 August 2023 | 09:00 AM - Saturday, 14 October 2023 | 05:00 PM


Wyreena Community Arts Centre, 13-23 Hull Road, Croydon, 3136, View map

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