Valerie Kirk was born in Scotland and studied at Edinburgh College of Art, then Goldsmith’s College, University of London.
She first came to Australia in 1979 to work as a weaver at the Victorian Tapestry Workshop in Melbourne and subsequently was Artist-in-Residence in Portland, Victoria and Busselton, Western Australia working on exhibitions, community tapestries and commissions. In 1991 Kirk was appointed Head of Textiles at Canberra School of Art. Here she initiated the major textiles projects “SHIFT” and “CHALLENGING IDEAS OF CLOTH”, continued to exhibit internationally and completed an MA (Hons). Solo exhibitions were held in 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2004 with major works purchased by the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, the ACT Legislative Assembly and the Canberra Museum and Art Gallery and the Museum and Art Gallery of Northern Territory. Current themes in the studio work include migration, ideas of place and identity in relation to global movement of people and perceptions of self/home in a rapidly changing world.
Since 1995 Kirk has been guest lecturer with Textile tours to Vietnam. She has lectured on Vietnamese textiles at the Asian Arts Society and the National Gallery of Australia.
Her achievements have been recognized through the Canberra Times Art Critics Award, 1998, the Inaugural Muse Woman of the Year Arts Award, 1999 and an Australia Council New Work Award, 2000. The Telos Portfolio Collection Vol. 25 “Valerie Kirk” published in 2003 gives an overview of her work.
Sara Lindsay currently lives and works in Melbourne, Australia where she lectures in the Tapestry Studio at Monash University. Lindsay completed her MA at RMIT University, Melbourne in 2003. She has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally, in solo and group exhibitions and she has received several awards which include an Australia Council New Work Grant in 2004, and Australia Council Studio Residency in Besozzo, Italy in 1997, the ‘Outstanding Award’ – 5th International Textile Fair, Kyoto, Japan in 1997 and an Australia Council Fellowship in 1995. Lindsay is represented by Stephen McLaughlan Gallery, Melbourne and in public collections, which include The National Gallery of Australia, The National Gallery of Victoria, Artbank, the Powerhouse Museum, Melbourne University, The University of Tasmania, and the Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery.