Rose Manning is an emerging Brisbane artist. Her work concentrates on feminist protest art using painting and textiles.
“This year, I’ve really been focusing on collaborative efforts in the community and creating spaces for people to come in and share experiences, rather than putting myself forward,” Rose said.
Rose is currently an Artist in Residence at House Conspiracy in Mollison Street, where she has set up her communal sewing room.
“House Conspiracy put a call out a bit over a year ago, for artists in residence. So I applied to create a space where people can come in and learn sewing skills. I’m a self-taught seamstress and I love to share those skills.”
“Sewing can be a really empowering skill. You can mend your clothes and make clothes that fit your body correctly.”
Rose is also creating a space where people feel comfortable coming and having a cup of tea and a chat while participating in some sewing.
“I find it’s easier for people to share stories and be vulnerable when their hands are busy.”
As part of the current project, people can contribute a square for a community quilt. There is no fixed theme for the quilt, and Rose says people can stitch whatever they are inspired to do.
“House Conspiracy is quite a relaxed, loose place, in a good way, and so I don’t want to put any constraints on what people are doing – they can come in and do whatever they want.”
“The quilt is being influenced by being in the space.”
When it’s completed, Rose will launch the quilt at House Conspiracy.
“There will also be a zine representing all the squares, so that everyone who has contributed can have something to hold and to take home with them.”
Quilting has a long history as a communal activity and has been a form of activism and memorial.
“My whole practice has been drawing on sewing rooms as a place where traditionally women get together. The sewing room is a safe space where women can just talk about what’s happening. I feel quite privileged to be able to continue that history. I can’t explain what it is like when you’re sewing – it is this magical relaxation and openness.”
While the sewing room attracts women, men are welcome too.
Rose aims to complete the project at the end of November, so if you want to participate, get in soon.
“I understand if you haven’t done this before it can be intimidating and it can take a little bit of time. So you might want to block out a couple of hours.”
You can go into the Sewing Room and work with Rose, or you can contribute a square made at home. If you do the latter, the square will need to be ten by ten inches. The only restriction on the type of material used is that it must fit through a conventional sewing machine.
“Do whatever you want – you can use leather, you can use paper, you can do anything experimental as long as I’ll be able to run my sewing machine through it,” Rose said.
Rose is hoping that people will open themselves up to learning skills and also to conversations – bring in your own sewing project or contribute to her community quilt project.
The quilt will be displayed on the evening of 27 November at House Conspiracy.
When you can meet Rose
Follow Rose on Instagram at @rose,the.nose .