Art meets the environment in the Threatened Species Collaborative Quilt

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Canberra artist Michele England creates works that express her “concerns about damaged and derailed ecologies”.

In her latest project, artists from around Canberra and interstate add their voices to the chorus.

Michele’s Threatened Species Collaborative Quilt sees each artist contribute a quilt patch representing one of 32 – or about half – of the 60 local threatened species. The patches will be sewn together to create one large quilt, and presented to Minister for the Environment Rebecca Vassarotti at The Link on Threatened Species Day (7 September).


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A post shared by Michele England (@aquiltcollective)

Michele says she hopes her work will help raise awareness about the species and the dangers they’re facing.

“All species are valuable in an ecology and many seem insignificant. It may only be after they are gone/ in few numbers that their valuable contribution is fully understood”, she says.

Michele assembled her quilt collaborators via social media, using the platform to educate about the ACT’s threatened species and what’s endangering them. Those who answered the call ranged from painters to printers and a street artist, all volunteering alongside textile artists to bring the quilt to life. The quilt itself is a mixed-medium work, something Michelle welcomed – “I said ‘You can do whatever you want’, and it really opened the floodgates.”

As for its impact, Michele hopes it will make people think about how they can live more sustainably, “whether that’s being more responsible with litter… or thinking about how you can compost your scraps, or… getting out into the environment and helping bush care programs, regeneration, or… putting in more plants for wildlife on the backyard or balcony.”


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A post shared by Michele England (@aquiltcollective)

Get involved

The Threatened Species Collaborative Quilt will be on display in the Wattle Room at The Link. But if you can’t make the exhibition, you can see all patches and the whole quilt on Instagram @aquiltcollective.

A host of complementary activities is taking place this weekend, with bush walks and workshops to be enjoyed.

Although the Ginninderry Conservation Trust’s guided walk from Strathnairn to Shepherds Walking Track is booked out, the track is always available to enjoy self-guided walks.

The adult workshop on Saturday, 9 September, Make a little quilt banner, where beginners to experts can make their own quilt patch, still has places available.

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