Kathleen Berney has worked with textiles since the early 1970’s. She originally studied arts at Sydney University and then was drawn to a more practical hands on approach. She was self taught in batik and was a founding member of the Australian Textile and Surface Design Association (ATASDA) Kathleen spent a year in Sri Lanka and Indonesia furthering her studies and knowledge of batik. She then ran numerous batik and textile dyeing workshops both in her own studio and for the Arts Council and Australian Crafts Council in various parts of Australia.
Kathleen has always pushed the boundaries in her exploration of manipulating and playing with fabric. During her work with quilting one of her dramatic floor length quilted capes was purchased by the Australian National Gallery. She experimented with gold leaf combined with batik and fabric painting and drawing in collages that were exhibited in individual and group exhibitions in galleries throughout Australia.
This experimentation led to small collections of clothing that were sold initially in galleries. Subsequently the fashion area of Kathleen’s work grew and grew until now the Kathleen Berney label is sold in 70 boutiques in Australia and New Zealand.
The label originally was pleated clothing and then grew into a broad range of garments, especially targeting the plus size market.
When Kathleen and her family moved to Arcadia she organised for a few local artists to open their studios on the same day : and that was the beginning of the Arcadian Artists !
Kathleen Berney clothing is in wardrobes all over the world with earlier pieces in private and public collections including the National Gallery of Australia.
Phone: 61 2 9656 1429
Some of my highlights
Sculpture by the Sea in 2015 was a particularly exciting project. I have had some ideas for many years, very site specific to the Bondi coastline exhibition in relationship to my early childhood. I grew up alongside the coastal walk where the exhibition is held. The work was constructed as a collaborative project with my husband. We recreated a photo of myself as a 2 year old on a slippery slide in the exact spot where the photo was taken. This was done with metal and digital printing on metal.