Diana Stewart

Green Obi Sash
Obi Sash

I love colour and pattern and enjoy making individual garments – ‘limited editions’. Some garments are one of a kind, as fabrics used are hoarded treasures or might use antique Japanese Obi sashes or other special pieces. Some garments are available in a range of sizes and styles in a particular fabric, depending on fabric stocks. Comfort and wearability are important in clothing, and all fabrics used are pre-shrunk and seams are overlocked.

I made my first dress on an old ‘Singer’ treadle sewing machine when I was 15, adapting a pattern because I couldn’t find one for what I wanted to make. Being a bargain hunter has resulted in accumulating those special finds when I see them: so fabrics, buttons and some very old patterns and clothes travel the country with me and eventually get used. I began producing clothes using the label ‘Sardines’ in 1983. My sewing life has fitted in around other arts jobs and as time has permitted. During the ‘80s, I worked in the theatre industry in Melbourne, designing sets and costumes for various companies.



1977 Bachelor of Arts, Latrobe University, Victoria. Majors: English Literature, Political Science

1978-79 Bachelor of Arts, Drama 2nd & 3rd year, Deakin University, Victoria

selected group exhibitions

2008 Seriously Cool, Spiral Gallery group exhibition, Bega, NSW

2008 Fragments, Spiral Gallery group exhibition, Bega, NSW

2007 Bonbon, Spiral Gallery group exhibition, Bega, NSW

2007 Alchemy, Spiral Gallery textile exhibition, Bega, NSW

2006 Para Ti, Spiral Gallery exhibition, Bega, NSW

2006 Abracadabra, Spiral Gallery textile exhibition, Bega, NSW

2005 Fiesta, Spiral Gallery group exhibition, Bega, NSW

professional practice

2003-05 Co-ordinator, Munupi Arts & Crafts, Tiwi art centre, Melville Island, NT

2002-03 Co-ordinator, Jilamara Arts & Crafts, Tiwi art centre, Melville Island, NT

1991-2000 Community Arts Officer / Events Manager, Gasworks Arts Park, Melbourne, Vic.

Co-ordinated an annual program of arts events including: the Gasworks Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition, The Mayor’s Community Day Festival, Dog Day – a festival for dogs and their owners, Sundays at Gasworks program, Koori Day.

1991 Project Officer for Senior Citizens Treasures, an exhibition of family heirlooms and articles made by 80 senior citizens (men and women) from Port and South Melbourne, Arts Access Society, Melbourne, Vic

1989 Co-Artistic Director, Dancin’ the Darebin, a community dance project, Darebin Parklands, Melbourne, Vic

theatre & costume design

1984-99 Designed sets & costumes for various performing arts companies: Playbox Theatre Company, Arena Theatre Company, Radcliffe Productions, DanceWorks, Circus Oz

1984 Caulfield Days, designer and co-ordinator of community theatre project with the City of Caulfield, Melbourne, Vic

1981-82 Company Manager, Mill Community Theatre Company, Geelong, Vic

1980 Actor with the Woolly Jumpers Theatre in Education Team, Geelong, Vic


1999 Professional Development Grant Performing Arts Board, Australia Council

associations & affiliations

2005-current Spiral Gallery Co-operative, Bega: executive member

2002-2005 ANKAAA, NT: member(top end Aboriginal arts industry membership body)

1987-1994 Community Arts Network Victoria Inc., Melbourne: executive member

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