New website

Hello everyone, I’ve created a new website exclusively for my craftivism and textile art:


Women of Peace (2016) 124cm x 165cm
Appliqué quilt made using new and recycled materials.

I will continue to use this blog for my PhD research in the coming year, thanks for all your support thus far – I hope you continue to enjoy my work as I progress over this final year at the VCA.

Upcoming Exhibition at the George Paton Gallery


A ‘cloth-art’ exhibition featuring the artwork of Tal Fitzpatrick alongside
the artwork of her grandmother Dawn Fitzpatrick

Exhibition dates: Wednesday 31 August – Friday 9 September
Closing Event/Artist Talk:  5pm-7pm Friday 9 September     

Dawn Fitzpatrick, Magnolia (1989) | Tal Fitzpatrick, Chinese Urns/White blossoms (2016)
Both works are appliqué quilted hangings, 11mmx110mm, images courtesy of the artists

‘DAWN & I’ is an exhibition that, for the first time ever, places the artwork of Tal Fitzpatrick side-by-side with the artwork of her paternal grandmother Dawn Fitzpatrick. The exhibition explores the relationship between these two artists, unpacking how techniques, ideas, experiences and memories can be captured and communicated across generations. While at the same time reflecting on the significant differences in the social, political and cultural conditions that shaped the experiences of these artists.

In the early 1970s Dawn Fitzpatrick coined the term ‘cloth-art’ to describe her unique approach of using textiles to create bold large scale figurative wall hangings. For the next 25 years Dawn continued to make work by combining the techniques of appliqué quilting with drawing, painting and silk screen printing. Over the course of her career Dawn exhibited both locally and internationally, and her works are held in several major public collections including at the NSW Parliament House, Sydney, Old Parliament House Museum, Canberra and The Bush Museum, Texas. Dawn published one book titled Folk Art Appliqué Quilts (1990) and to this day, at the age of 94, she continues to draw every day.

Tal Fitzpatrick took up creating artwork using Dawn’s ‘cloth art’ style in 2014 as part of her practice-led PhD research into craftivism and the political moment. Tal’s approach incorporates Dawn’s techniques with the strategies of socially-engaged-art and craftivism in an exploration of this mediums potential to work as a form of activism and advocacy. To date she has undertaken projects in partnership with community groups and NGO’s to create artworks such as the ‘PM Please’ project which involved hand-stitching 121 messages to the newly appointed Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull onto a wagga quilt and giving it to him as a gift, and the IWDA Fifty Fifty project which involved giving away 50 appliqué portraits to the first 50 people who donated $50 or more to the International Women’s Development Agency.


As part of this exhibition Tal will be setting up her sewing studio in the gallery, creating new work in situ for the duration of the exhibition. Gallery audiences are invited to engage with Tal as she works – either by contributing a drawing that Tal will incorporate into the work or by getting hands on and learning how to make an appliqué bird with Tal’s guidance.

Tal will be giving a free artist talk as part of the closing event on Friday 9th of September which will include a demonstration of her process and Q&A session. Audiences at the closing event will also be treated to very special reading by Autumn Royal who will mark the closing of Hannah Gartside’s exhibition Felt and Held in the entrance gallery.


Second floor, Union House, University of Melbourne GALLERY HOURS: 11am-5pm Monday to Friday | T: 8344 5418 E: | W:

This exhibition has been supported by the Creative Arts Department and the University of Melbourne Student Union.

A call from the PM’s office!


Two days after formally being announced the winner of this latest election I got a call for Malcolm Turnbull’s office to say that he had seen the PM Please quilt and was happy to accepts the gift. The comment from him that was passed onto me was that he appreciated the thought and effort that went into making the quilt.

I will be borrowing the work back in order to exhibit it in a few upcoming shows, then I will return it to Turnbull. I wonder what he is going to do with it?

I’m hoping that he might write me a letter that I can hang alongside the quilt when it’s exhibited.

Needless to say I’m really happy to have finally got the quilt to the PM and I hope that it gives him food for thought at this early stage of his new term in office.


On the 3oth of June 2016, two days before the 2016 July election I went into the Sydney office of Malcolm Turnbull and handed the PM Please quilt to his reception staff. They said that he should see it within the next fortnight and that they will ask him to respond to the work. I also sent him a letter (via email) to accompany the work. In it I asked him to loan the quilt back so that I can exhibit it in the coming months as several different galleries/venues which have shown an interest.

It is now a week since the election and we still are not sure what the outcome has been and whether Turnbull will still be the PM… I’m guessing he is busy/stressed so perhaps I’ll have to wait a little longer to hear back from him. However, as soon as I do I will share Turnbull’s response with all of you.

Thanks again to all those who participated in this project by sending in your message to Turnbull. I hope he will take the time to read through the 121 messages  hand embroidered onto the quilt and consider each one carefully.

Kind regards,




As you have probably heard by now:
“Australia appears set for a double-dissolution federal election on July 2 after the government’s bill to restore the Australian Building and Construction Commission failed to pass the Senate – again.” – The Conversation 

Late last year I made a gift for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull – a Wagga quilt adorned with 121 hand stitched messages for the PM from over 100 Australian citizens who contributed to this project. When I reached out and asked people to contribute their messages for the PM my promise to them was that I would ensure the quilt gets to him. PM-PLZ-Quilt.jpg

Over the past few months I’ve been exploring many different avenues to get this quilt to Turnbull: I’ve tried mailing and emailing his office, reaching out on social media, getting in touch with people who know him, local politicians, his neighbours, friends of friends etc. all to no avail. Mostly, those who know and are in contact with Turnbull are reluctant to bring this project up, reluctant to ask him if he would be willing to receive this gift in case it would be a breach of protocol.
However, on the plus side the quilt is due to go up at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka in July for 7 weeks. The plan was to send him a formal invitation to attend the exhibition from the museum and give the quilt to him at the end of the seven week installation.  However, it is now apparent that will be AFTER the election, meaning there is a chance Turnbull will no longer be PM…
So, once again I am reaching out to you my friends and fellow citizens: I need your help in getting our gift to Turnbull’s. If you know how to get hold of him, if you can ask him whether he would be willing to accept this gift – I will fly anywhere in the country in order to hand this quilt over to him.
Can you help?

Above are a few examples of the 121 messages hand stitched onto this quilt.



Terms of Engagement: Ethics and Participatory Art

I’m very excited to share that I’ve been invited to take part in a panel discussion on the subject of the ethics of participatory practice. This forum will take place as part of Melbourne Knowledge week and will be held at the Victorian College of the Arts on the 4 May 2016.

The forum will be chaired by my supervisor Dr James Oliver (VCA and MCM, University of Melbourne) with a brilliant cast of speakers including: Dr Kate Just (VCA and MCM, University of Melbourne), Tal Fitzpatrick (University of Melbourne), Juliana Keller (University of Melbourne) and Professor David Cross (Deakin University).

This forum will bring together a number of artists whose work sits in this space to address questions related to power and accountability within community arts practice. In particular it will discuss the ethical responsibility of artists to the wider communities they practice within, and to the artists’ individual ‘subjects’ who are left to deal with the aftermath of the ‘attention’ of researchers and artists.

For more information and to register for this event please visit: 


Image courtesy of Tiffaney Bishop

IWDA Fifty Fifty Project exhibition

Last night was the one-night-only exhibition of my International Women’s Development Agency (IWDA) #FiftyFiftyProject. This project involved me making 50 textile portraits of the first 50 people who donated $50 or more directly to IWDA. These portraits are a gift to those who chose to donate and take part in this project. Now that the project is finished I will be posting each portrait to the project participants. Thanks to the support and generosity of the 50 people who took part in this project we raised a total of $2,790 for IWDA!

Below are a few photos from the night.

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I’d like to say a special thanks to Marta from IWDA for making it to the exhibition and to Igniting Change for providing me with the space to host this one-off event. I’d also like to thank everyone who made it along – it was a really special night thanks to you all. Finally, a special thanks to my partner George Carpenter and my good friend Rob Power for helping me set up the exhibition. ❤2016-03-11 12.44.48If you have photos from the night I would love to see them! Email me:

Also, I’ve had people asking me about commissioning a portrait or a portrait-pillow like the two below which I made for my good friends. If you are interested they are between $100-$150 each, again email me:



Practice-based vs. Practice-led

I found a useful little post about the difference between practice-based and practice-led research, I thought I would share it:

Practice-based Research is an original investigation undertaken in order to gain new knowledge partly by means of practice and the outcomes of that practice. Claims of originality and contribution to knowledge may be demonstrated through creative outcomes which may include artefacts such as images, music, designs, models, digital media or other outcomes such as performances and exhibitions Whilst the significance and context of the claims are described in words, a full understanding can only be obtained with direct reference to those outcomes. A practice-based PhD is distinguishable from a conventional PhD because creative outcomes from the research process may be included in the submission for examination and the claim for an original contribution to the field are held to be demonstrated through the original creative work.

Practice-based doctoral submissions must include a substantial contextualisation of the creative work. This critical appraisal or analysis not only clarifies the basis of the claim for the originality and location of the original work, it also provides the basis for a judgement as to whether general scholarly requirements are met.  This could be defined as judgement of the submission as a contribution to knowledge in the field, showing doctoral level powers of analysis and mastery of existing contextual knowledge, in a form that is accessible to and auditable by knowledgeable peers.

Practice-led Research is concerned with the nature of practice and leads to new knowledge that has operational significance for that practice. The main focus of the research is to advance knowledge about practice, or to advance knowledge within practice. In a doctoral thesis, the results of practice-led research may be fully described in text form without the inclusion of a creative outcome. The primary focus of the research is to advance knowledge about practice, or to advance knowledge within practice. Such research includes practice as an integral part of its method and often falls within the general area of action research. The doctoral theses that emerge from this type of practice related research are not the same as those that include artefacts and works as part of the submission.


Source: Creativity and Cognistion studios, accessible from: 

IWDA ‘Fifty Fifty Project’ Exhibition

After two months squirrelling away in the studio I have now completed all 50 textile portraits of the 50 people who took part in my IWDA #fiftyfiftyproject by donating $50 or more directly to the International Women’s Development Agency.

Thought this project, thanks to the generosity of all those who participated, we raised $2,790 for IWDA! These much needed funds will go directly towards supporting IWDA’s work improving the rights of women across the Asia Pacific region.

Before I mail all 50 portraits off as a gift to the participants who donated to IWDA as part of this project, I will have a one-night-only showing of all 50 portraits. This exhibition, which will happen on Friday 11 March between 6pm-8pm, is being proudly hosted by Igniting Change at their office space on Carlisle Street, Balaclava. A representative from IWDA will be attending the event and will share with us in more detail some of the work of IWDA. If you’re in Melbourne and would like to attend please see the invitation below for more details.

I look forward to seeing you there! However if you can’t make it you can see all 50 portraits as well as images from the event on my Instagram and twitter accounts – @talfitzpatrick


IWDA 50/50 Project 

The “50/50″project is a participatory art project that looks to both highlight the importance of gender equality and support practical projects that advance women’s human rights across the Asia Pacific region by encouraging people to donate to International Women’s Development Agency (IWDA). 

This project involves making 50 portraits of the first 50 people who donate $50 or more to IWDA as part of the IWDA “50/50” Project. When all 50 portraits are completed and documented I will mail these portraits to the donors who participated in the project as a gift to say thank you for caring about gender equality and for supporting IWDA.

100% of the donations made to IWDA as part of this project go directly towards supporting the work of IWDA.
Tal Fitzpatrick is donating both her time and her own resources to complete this project. IWDA will bare no project costs whatsoever.

To get involved in this project and have a cloth portrait of your face mailed to you as a gift from the artist follow these simple steps:

1) Make your donation directly to IWDA and forward your copy of the confirmation you are sent to me:

2) I will then email you with further information and ask you to provide her with a photo of the face you want crafted and your mailing address. You will also be asked to sign a consent form, as both I and IWDA would like to use images of the portraits throughout various mediumsand publications, including on social media.

3) Once I have your photo and signed forms I will then make you a portrait of your face in cloth and at the end of the project I will mail all 50 portraits to the donors who took part in the project. The portraits will also be photographed and used in an exhibition once the project has been completed.

4) Get in quick – Only the first 50 people to donate will get a portrait of them as a gift 🙂

Here are some of the portraits I have completed so far…


IWDA is the leading Australian agency entirely focussed on women’s rights and gender equality in the Asia Pacific region. IWDA’s vision is for a world where every woman and man, girl and boy has equal rights and opportunities. IWDA is international, feminist and independent. It stands up for women and girls by tackling issues of power, money and security by partnering with others in the Asia Pacific region to advance women’s human rights. Visit:

This project is part of a series of socially-engaged art projects that are part of my practice-led PhD research into ‘Craftivism and the Political Moment’. This is a research project that looks to investigate the impact of using craft and socially engaged art as strategies for activism and advocacy. For more information about my research please get in touch with me via email (details below).

Participation in this project is entirely voluntary. Participants of this project will be required to consent to the image of their face and the image of the textile portrait created of them to be used and shared publicly by Tal Fitzpatrick and IWDA.

For more information please contact: Tal Fitzpatrick – or Marta Jasinska at IWDA –