Arts news: What's on at Cessnock Regional Art Gallery and Wollombi's Old Fireshed Gallery

Cessnock Regional Art Gallery welcomes the community to view a new exhibition using varied textile methods to creatively explore the concept: Off the Beaten Track.

The exhibition features works by Diana Thomas, Linda Taglieri, Prue Hill, Margaret Gollan and Donna Caffrey.

These five women all have a high level of professional training in their respective fields including geology, biology, education, law and literature.

Their works include embroidery, weaving, 3-D, quilt making, collage and felting.

"Some works use unusual techniques in a traditional way and others use traditional techniques in offbeat ways," gallery volunteer Nancy Gray said.

"The theme explores a concept of difference which can be interpreted in both concrete and abstract ways; stimulating an enormous variety of interpretation.

"It introduces historical and contemporary references with reflections ranging from space travel to remembrances of distant lands, literature, magical design and the repetition of everyday life.

"The sensory synaesthetic nature of textiles are of particular importance because, through touch and vision, the viewer can experience the work in a tactile form.

"Gallery goers are invited to touch selected textiles providing many avenues for personal interaction."

Off The Beaten Track runs until Saturday, September 29. Gallery hours are Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 4pm.

Meanwhile, the next meeting of Celebrating Cessnock's Creative Community will be held at Hotel Cessnock on Wednesday, September 4 from 5pm-9pm.

Local creatives are encouraged to bring along their latest work, or come along and enjoy a drink or a meal among an inspiring group.

Wollombi Cultural Centre - The Old Fireshed Gallery

The next exhibition at Wollombi's Old Fireshed Gallery opens this Saturday.

Silk'n Suri and Felt features works by Shelagh Brigg (hand-dyed silk), Judy Linder (Suri alpaca) and Loris Self (felting).

Shelagh's silk work began 30 years ago, when she took an introductory course and made four silk scarves.

"I became really absorbed in the craft, developing new techniques, styles and designs," she said.

"The combination of lustrous silk and vibrant dyes create a really shimmering colour burst. I love colour, and seem to have a knack of mixing and matching, contrasting and clashing the colours to create attractive luxury products."

After 25 years of selective breeding for wonderful Suri alpaca fleece, Judy says she is still exploring, learning and creating garments from this rare luxurious fibre.

"Each day I have the privilege of putting my hands into some of the best fibre produced from the far less common Suri alpaca," she said.

Loris joined a local creative group after she retired and moved to Wollombi.

"Trying many crafts, I have come to love felting for it's tactile and serendipitous nature," she said.

The gallery is open weekends from 10am to 4pm, and the exhibition runs until September 8.