About Cheryl

Cheryl creates solitarily in a historic 1860’s horse stables in Adelaide CBD, surrounded by  mannequins dressed in art to wear, her wall art, and a life-sized zebra. It is truly an Alice in Wonderland. Her art has a point of difference, it hovers between dream & reality, to draw the observer in with intricate detail and textures in a way that connects with their emotions. Living in her art world she dresses, every day in my her wearable art creations & has done this since her late teens

Cheryl creates unique embroidered visual stories first she sketches her ideas and dreams on paper and then using nothing but her hands to guide the fabric and multiple changes of thread colours and millions of stitches she creates her unique embroidered art.

Cheryl’s Timeline

Earliest Memories

Are of drawing the fashions out of her grandmothers Women’s Weekly, so she could decorate her dolls clothes using her hand cranked Singer Sewhandy. Drawing animals especially Zebras, naughty, playful and no two are the same.

Young Adulthood

Cheryl rebelled against societal norms throughout her teenage and young adult years. As an Art student, Cheryl would only wear clothes that she made; unique, theatrical, statement pieces, many took hours to design draft and make. Going out to party after party dressed as a tree, a fish or a moth, but never dressed sensibly. But, she finished with degrees in art and teaching

Early Career

Created a market for Art to Wear clothes, Australiana for the international tourism industry and selling Art to Wear locally at the Jam Factory and throughout Australia. (Cheryl has been featured in Body Adorned and the Art of Dress: Australian Wearable Art 1970s- 1980s’ Vishna Collins.)
Won her first national award and guest artist and teaching on both sides of the Atlantic.
Cheryl Won Dreamtime 96 National Billy Can Award, this was a national competition open to all art forms and sponsored by Qantas, The Australia Council and Tourism Australia to promote Australia, its art and tourism internationally.

Guest Overseas Artist at ‘Fashion Craft Embroidery Exhibition Harrogate, Yorkshire, UK 1998

Teaching workshops throughout Australia and NZ and Artists in Residence Program throughout SA (Carclew).

2000’s

Motherhood and nurturing children for a lifelong love of Art at arguably South Australia’s leading Primary School, St Andrews, Walkerville, all the while still creating and exhibiting.

Road to California”, Los Angeles, (Overseas Guest Artist) USA’s largest textile exhibition Cheryl’s work then went on a 12-month travelling USA 2006

2010’s

Nothing but Art! Capitalizing on her lifelong passion & dedication to develop unique skills in particular embroidery she now does nothing but Art.

Since 2009 responding to life & world events, Cheryl has worked towards at least one solo every year. She records drawings from night dreams and interprets them in textiles. On the tactile surfaces, playful themes full of personal imagery with an Alice in Wonderland feel, looking deeper there is a narrative and symbolism. She now creates a body of work of over 50 artworks a year. In 2012 Cheryl exhibited and demonstrated her unique techniques in every state of Australia and New Zealand.

Awards & Nominations

2021: – Finalist ‘Open Contemporary Art Prize’, Gallery M Adelaide Aug 7-29
2021: – Finalist ‘Kennedy / RSASA Portrait Art Prizee’, RSASA Gallery Adelaide June 25-July 17
2020: – Finalist ‘Adelaide Park Lands Art Prize’, QBE Gallery Adelaide Apr 2-May 31
2019: – Runner up ‘Open Contemporary Art Prize’ – Gallery M
2018: – Finalist Highly commended ‘Characters of the Fleurieu’, May 6-June 3
2017: – Finalist ‘SALA /RSASA Portrait Prize’, RSASA Gallery Jul 30-Aug 27
2016: – Finalist ‘Authentic Adelaide’ Adelaide Town Hall Dec1-Jan 15 2017

2016: – Finalist “Petite Textiles”, Wangaratta Art Gallery Jun 4- Jul 17
2016: – Finalist ‘Fleurieu Food + Wine Art Prize ‘, McLaren Vale Jun 4-Jul 29
2015: – Finalist ‘RSASA Portrait Prize’, June 28-July 26. RSASA
2014: – Finalist ‘Petite Textiles’, Wangaratta Art Gallery June 14- July 27
2014: – Finalist ‘Solar Art Prize’, RSASA North Tce. Adelaide Mar 23 –April 20
2011: – Winner “Bernina National Textile Tattoo” —
2011: – Winner “SALA on Hutt”, Lalla on Hutt
2011: – Peoples’ Choice Winner “SALA on Hutt”, Lalla on Hutt

2010: – Peoples’ Choice Winner “SALA on Hutt”, Lalla on Hutt
2009: – National Australasian Creative Challenge –Finalist– This piece of Machine embroidery titled 8 Aussie Icons was taken on a world exhibition tour and an article about its creation has been published in the book Galleria of Machine Artistry and Quilting.
1996: – Dreamtime 96 National Billy Can Award– Winner– This was a national competition open to all art forms and sponsored by Qantas, The Australia Council and Tourism Australia to promote Australia, its art and tourism internationally.
1995: -Bernina International Calendar Competition Winner

Publications

2021

  • ‘Fleurieu Past & Present’   Sand Writers
  • ‘Australian Fibre Art Award’  Artwear Publications Lynda Worthington Pgs. 34-37

2020

  • ‘Colour in Your life’ 24 minutes Video documentary of Cheryl  Released in over 50 countries TV Channels & Social Media
  • Body Adorned and the Art of Dress: Australian Wearable Art 1970s- 1980s’ Vishna Collins.

2019

  • Channel 44, Video documentary fore SALA Live Portraiture of His Excellency he Honourable Hie Van Le AC
  • Messenger Press, Adelaide Now ‘Why I Like My Suburb’
  • Artist Cheryl City Experience Adelaide City Council

2018

  • Textile Magazine March -June 2018 Cover & pgs.26-30

2017

  • Omaggio’, Video documentary  created in Italy
  • Pinery Fire Commemorative Book
  • Textile Magazine Dec 2017 -March 2018 pgs. 20-25
  • -‘Dreaming in Colour’ Inspirations Magazine Issue 93 2017 pgs. 4-5

2016

  • ‘Best Practice’ Textile Fibre Forum Magazine Issue 123 Sept pg.32.
  • ‘A Thread Runs Through it’, Adelaide Review, Issue 437 July pg. 31
  • ‘Before they were artists-SALA artists-child art’’ Adelaide Now Jul 28

2015

  • ‘Tactile Portraits’, “Down Under Textiles”, Issue 20, pp. 14-15
  • ‘The Art Issue’, SA Weekend Magazine”, August 1-2, The Cover
  • ‘Every Stitch Every Line’, SA Weekend Magazine, Aug 1-2 pg. 7
  • ‘Artist Follows a Thread’,” The Advertiser”, July 25, pg. 29

2014

2012

  • Channel 10, Nov.8 SA
  • Canberra Times, Aug 9
  • ABC Radio, Canberra, Aug 9. Tasmania, Apr 28
  • The Examiner, Tasmania, Apr 29
  • Win TV Tasmania, Apr 29
  • SALA Arts Festival “Cheryl Bridgart SALA Festival Art Lovers”

2011

  • Postcards Channel 9 Feb.29 One segment of this show was dedicated to Cheryl and her art. This can be seen at Postcards SA Webiste
  • SA Life Feb 2011 page 18, Lance Campbell the arts editor chose Cheryl’s exhibition as one of the 10  highlights of the Adelaide Fringe and Womadelaide out of 750 shows

2010

  • “Portraits” a short film featuring Cheryl’s wearable art
  • The Advertiser SA Weekend Magazine, 31 Jul 2010 Pages 24 and 25. A two page colour feature article about Cheryl and her art ”In Stitches” by Samela Harris

Textile Fibre Forum No 97 201

Frequently Asked Questions

As a self-taught embroiderer, Cheryl has developed her own techniques with many years of experience and sharing. Feel free to contact Cheryl at any time.

Q: Are computers involved?

No.

Q: Do you draw or paint on the canvas when doing FAFME ?

No.

Q: How long does it take to complete a piece?

Up to 400 Hours.

Q: What happens when you make mistakes?

I don’t make mistakes!

Q: Do you draw your designs first?

Yes, but on a piece of paper which I put next to the sewing machine. I am a proficient painter and drawer.

Q: Is it a special sewing machine?

No, but I prefer a Bernina.

Q: Do you give lessons?

Yes, I have taught in USA, UK and throughout Australasia, contact me for details.

Q: Do you use cameras or photography?

No and I don’t use computers either.

Q: Are your images original?

Yes, they come from my dreams and people I meet and nature , they are copyright

Q: Where do your faces come from?

Real people and dreams, I have just finished embroidering portraits of a family..

Q: Who taught you?

I am formally trained as a fine artist but I have self taught myself machine embroidery.

Q: When did you start?

Before I started primary school I used to draw cartoons on my dolls cloths with my grandmother’s sewing machine.

Q: How many coloured threads do you use?

Not as many as I used to. I now use optical mixing in the tradition of Impressionist Artists like Monet and Seurat.

Q: Do you practice other art forms?

My whole life is art, I draw all my work first, I paint, and I make one off exclusive museum pieces of wearable art.

Q: Which art form do you prefer?

I find the detail I can achieve with machine embroidery is so fine that this makes this my favourite medium.

Q: What is the correct name for this art-form?

FAFME or Fine Art Freehand Machine Embroidery. It has also been called Free Machine Embroidery, Freestyle Machine Embroidery, Freehand Machine Embroidery, Machine Embroidery and Thread Painting

Q: Do you embroider clothes?

Yes, as a matter of fact, I do not own any clothes that I have not made, and I embellish them all. I am active in the worldwide Wearable Art Movement.

Q: Can I see your work?

Yes, at Beltana Gallery by appointment

Q: Has your artwork changed over time?

Yes I continue to experiment and love a challenge I am now embroidering on paper.

Q: Which artists inspire you?

The old masters, the risk takers, those who strove for excellence. Matisse Picasso, Klimt, Klee, Dali, Blake & Turner: their colour, originality, imagery, passion and they broke new ground. They were willing risk-takers individuals, leaders, free to experiment even when criticized.

Q: How important is your art?

My art is me, personal, colourful, and my passion. I live each day to create the art on the wall and the art that I wear. Creating encourages me to think about possibilities – to ask- what if?

Q: What makes me happiest?

Following my dreams!!

Q: Do I have an audience in mind when I am creating?

No! I love to create what I want, I create for me, to express my dreams.

Q: What is your biggest artistic achievement?

Winning an Austraia wide art competition sponsored by Tourism Australia and The Arts Council open to any art form! Proving that machine embroidery is part of the main stream art form.

Q: Are you a full-time Artist?

Yes I create all the time, I frequently are so engrossed I forget meals.

Q: Do you paint or embroider animals ?

Yes I am a member of The Royal Zoological Society and my inspiration comes from my life drawing of animals on location. I have just done a new body of work which is predominantly animals. This was exhibited at a solo exhibition at The Adelaide Zoo.

Q: Are you on Instagram & Facebook?

Yes, I tend to post more often on Instagram

What makes you happy?

Creating experimenting and seeing people enjoy my work I love making people happy.

 

Ask Cheryl a question:
Email: cheryl@bridgart.com

Education & Collaborations

Education & Memberships

Advanced Diploma of Fine Art (SA School of Art)
Bachelor of Education Adelaide College of Arts and Education
Diploma of Teaching Secondary Art
Accredited Member of Guildhouse
Member Society of Embroidered Works UK
Fellow Royal SA Society of Arts
Member Contemporary Collectors Art Gallery SA

Collaborations

2020: – ‘Nomenclatures’ Troy Anthony Bayliss AGSA
2011: – ‘ATW” film Cheryl’s wearable Art National Cartoon Gallery, Coffs Harbour, NSW
2000: – Aesop’s Fables Masks Victorian State Opera Vic.