Copa Abstractions - a textile art exhibition

For those who read my last blog post you'll remember this quilt Delphiniums by Brenda Gael Smith. 

For the past year Brenda has embraced a weekly art project producing beautiful textile sketches. These small quilts have been inspired by botanicals, birds and the area she lives in on the Central coast of NSW called Copacabana. (It's same name but a different place from the famous Barry Manilow song, just in case anyone was wondering, or maybe no one remembers Barry Manilow anymore? )

Watching out for these works each week has been a highlight of my instagram feed. I'm always amazed at how Brenda manages to capture the essence of her subjects so perfectly in seemingly simple shapes.  
I love too how the stitching lines add a wonderful texture. They become a fascination in themselves. You can tell I'm a fan. Here are a few examples so you can see what I mean. 

Sea Grass

Crimson Rosella

Water's Edge. 

So with my fascination with these works I'm excited to announce that all of Brenda's 52 textile sketches will be on show in an upcoming exhibition called Copa Abstractions. There will also be larger works that haven't been displayed before. 
Did you see who's doing the opening? Why Yes, it's me!! I fell off my chair when Brenda asked me. Then there was some happy dancing here in the mountains and also Copacabana. 

With such an honour bestowed upon me Mr Daisy and I drove up to have a look at the Gosford Regional Gallery. 

We were very impressed with the large gallery spaces! Brenda's exhibition will be one of three exhibitions on at the same time. The others are a Brett Whitely exhibition and a Russell Drysdale exhibition. That's certainly illustrious company. 

The cafe was serving delicious meals. We gobbled up delicious muffins,  Mr Daisy said his coffee was excellent, I'm a happy tea drinker myself. 

But wait, there's more!! 

The gallery is set amongst the most wonderful Japanese gardens. 

I went a little crazy taking photos, but everywhere I looked there were beautiful scenes so I couldn't help myself.

As we wandered the paths there was the sound of trickling water from the waterfalls and ponds.

Bridges to cross... 

It was so peaceful watching the koi glide through the water. They have such a variety colours and markings.

We came across a raked garden.

The lines remind me of the stitched lines...

of Brenda's artworks, as you can see in this elegant pelican, 

who looked a lot like this handsome fellow I photographed a little later in the day. 

So put the dates in your diary,  Plan a day trip or a even a weekend in coastal Gosford. 
Come to the opening on the 13th January,  it's sure to be wonderful. 
or visit the exhibition from the 13th January until the 14th February. 

Brenda is also giving a lecture called "Driven to Abstraction" on Tuesday 23rd January. This is a lecture she has given internationally. I'll be there for that one.  

To find out more about Brenda Gael Smith here are the handy links:

Visit Brenda's website here to see more of her work. 

Visit her blog called Serendipity and the art of the quilt to read about her adventures in quilting and her travels as a teacher, exhibition curator, lecturer, quilter and artist.

Follow her on instagram @brendagaelsmith

Copa Abstractions - a textile art exhibition


  1. I started following her this morning - what an amazing artist! I wish I could see her exhibit. It looks fabulous.
    I absolutely loved the photos of the Japanese Gardens.
    They fascinate me. They have a special way of building gardens to surprise you and change the view often. The coi are gorgeous especially the yellow one. The Zen raked garden is so calming....loved seeing all the photos!

  2. Congratulations Rachael !!
    The japanese garden is absolutely stunning and soooo zen ! A very inspiring place for a "flower artist" like you !

  3. What an amazing venue for such a talented artist! I love your photo of the pelican. I live on Pelican Lake, but we only see pelicans in the spring and fall when they are migrating.

  4. Oh how I wish I could be there. You are both amazing artists. And who knows, maybe Barry Manilow will show up!

  5. I was aware of Brenda, having seen her profile in a magazine, but hadn't seen much of her work. So talented. Thanks for sharing and showing the lovely surrounds of the art gallery. I'm sure opening night will be wonderful for you all. I'm just seeing if there is some way I can talk Mick into a necessary trip to Gosford???

  6. 'Music and passion were always in fashion' - don't worry there still others who remember that song.

  7. What beautiful gardens, a great setting for the exhibition. Fab quilts and congrats on The Opening!!

  8. Brenda's are gorgeous! Love that stitching work. Yours will be a great complement to hers!

  9. Hi Audrey, Thanks so much!! I wont actually have any work in the show. I'm doing a speech to open the exhibition, which is a great honour.
    Brenda and I have exhibited together before in group exhibitions and quilt shows and once our quilts were next to each other and did indeed look fabulous!

  10. It is always so nice to come here and catch up with you :-)
    And yes, I am old enough to remember Barry Manilow! ;-)

  11. Ooooh, Congratulations! It looks like it will be a wonderful show -- I know you'll do a great role with your opening!

  12. Thank you for introducing me to Brenda and her work - I love it! I wish I could see her exhibit. And congrats to you for getting to do the opening!

    Those Japanese gardens look wonderful! And your photos are great too! It looks like an interesting place to take a stroll.


Thank you so much for leaving me a comment. I love to hear your thoughts. I don't always have time to reply but your wonderful words encourage me to keep sharing my work and stories.


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