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Telling Tales to patch regions stories together

Telling Tales to patch regions stories together
14 July 2020

Mount Gambier artist Jo Fife is looking forward to seeing everyone’s stories in stitch as part of the Telling Tales project.
Jo Fife
Mount Gambier artist Jo Fife is looking forward to seeing everyone’s stories in stitch as part of the Telling Tales project.

The Riddoch Art Gallery, in partnership with Bordertown’s Walkway Gallery will present Telling Tales, an artist-led community project capturing stories from the Limestone Coast region.

“From adversity springs inspiration and the decision to postpone a number of exhibitions has led Limestone Coast galleries to explore new projects,” City of Mount Gambier Arts and Culture Development Officer Serena Wong said.

The project is open now until 18 September 2020 with local artist Jo Fife and former Mount Gambier artist Sera Waters calling on all current and past residents of the Limestone Coast to contribute a small embroidered patch that captures experiences and knowledge of the region.

These patches will be sent back to the Riddoch Art Gallery where the artists will go through each one and put them all together, to create one work with many voices, to capture a different but important story.
- City of Mount Gambier Arts and Culture Development Officer Serena Wong

The project is suitable for both beginner and experienced stitchers and provides an opportunity for anyone with links to the region to share insights, knowledge, family histories, regional species, weather events, mysteries, or general tales.

“Sera and Jo both have a multitude of experience in making work that looks specifically at their history.

Having both grown up in the region, it is a perfect opportunity to have them working together and exploring the quirky tales that make where we live so special and unique,” Ms Wong said.

“I am fascinated by little known histories and insights people and communities have about the places they live,” artist Sera Waters said.

“History books don’t reflect this kind of insider knowledge so with the Telling Tales project, we hope to celebrate local community tales, a richer version of this region."

The finished artwork will be exhibited alongside the Country Arts SA touring exhibition Sera Waters: Domestic Arts at both the Riddoch Art Gallery and the Walkway Gallery in 2021.

“While we may be at different ends of the Limestone Coast, we are connected by our location and Telling Tales is a unique way for us to come together, capture and immortalise those wonderfully tall tales in a beautiful artwork for the region,” Walkway Gallery Director Naomi Fallon said.

With the COVID-19 pandemic presenting unique challenges on many levels, communities around the world are coming together to share ideas, experiment and develop creative ways to connect with each other.

“I am really excited to be working on this community art project, especially as we find ourselves looking at alternatives to connect with our community during the pandemic and I am looking forward to seeing everyone’s stories in stitch,” artist Jo Fife said.

To register to contribute to the project contact The Riddoch and Main Corner Complex or Walkway Gallery via email, phone or in person. All registrants will receive a stitch pack including blue and green threads, 22 x 22cm canvas, needle, instructions and return envelope.

“Contributions can be as simple or as complex as you choose and inspiration and guides on basic stitches, how-to videos, tips and examples can be found at the Telling Tales Limestone Coast Facebook page,” Ms Wong said.

For more details including how to register and obtain your kit, visit

This project is supported by Country Arts SA.

Media contact: City of Mount Gambier Communications Officer Ashlea Watson at or phone (08) 8721 2577.


Jo Fife was born in Penola, South Australia and has lived most of her life in the region. Jo has worked as a professional artist for the past 30 years, exhibiting locally and interstate, taking out awards for textiles and painting. In this time Jo has curated exhibitions, tutored school and adult groups, mentored young emerging artists and disability groups, worked on community art projects, facilitating the Multicultural Art Project and lectured in textiles and printmaking at TAFE SA.

Sera Waters is a South Australian based artist known for creating artworks invested with a darkly stitched meticulousness. In 2018 she completed her PhD which investigated settler colonial home-making patterns and practices and examined her family histories as inherited genealogical ghostscapes. Waters has exhibited across Australia and is represented by Hugo Michell Gallery.

A full biography, exhibition list and more can be found at