This exhibition subverts and unravels the baggage-laden yet wondrous category of making once labelled ‘domestic arts’ (often a.k.a. ‘women’s work’). Perceived regularly as mundane or sentimental, home-making expressions are reworked in Domestic Arts to show not only the knotty tangles hiding within otherwise innocuous home-craft, but also that these make-do methods are rich repositories of passed along knowledge. In Australia, the domestic arts have been central to settler colonial home-making.

Domestic Arts presents a re-creation of a home; one that celebrates and critiques the tradition of women world-making using the material stuff around them, and one that questions the ongoing and problematic traditions of colonial settling. Using embroidery and home-craft methods, Domestic Arts leaps across generations of local and national historical happenings to create contemporary portals onto past legacies, ever present today

Image: Sera Waters, Basking (detail), 2016-17, linen, cotton, sequins, tablecloth, handmade glow-in-the-dark beads, 92 x 60 cm. Image courtesy of the artist and Hugo Michell Gallery


Sera Waters: Domestic Arts is a Country Arts SA touring exhibition presented in partnership with ACE Open.
Country Arts SA is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.

A Limestone Coast community stitch project with South Australian artists Sera Waters and Jo Fife

What is Telling Tales?
The Limestone Coast, from Mount Gambier to Bordertown, is rich with untold histories, strange happenings and tall tales: what curious tales do you know about this vast region?

Telling Tales is a community stitch project led by artists Jo Fife and Sera Waters. This is an opportunity for anyone with links to this beautiful region to share insights, knowledge, and tales from past happenings, passed along knowledge, family histories, regional species, weather events or mysteries that will become part of an unique artwork which may become part of the Riddoch Art Gallery collection.

Telling Tales is for both beginner and experienced stitchers. Contributions can be as simple or complex as you choose. For inspiration and guides on basic stitches, how-to videos, tips and examples of completed tales can be found via the Telling Tales Facebook page: @TellingTalesLimestoneCoast

The Artists
Jo Fife was born in Penola, South Australia and has lived most of her life in the region. Jo has worked as a professional artist for the past 30 years, exhibiting locally and interstate, taking out awards for textiles and painting. In this time Jo has curated exhibitions, tutored school and adult groups, mentored young emerging artists and disability groups, worked on community art projects, facilitating the Multicultural Art Project and lectured in textiles and printmaking at TAFE SA.

Sera Waters is a South Australian based artist known for creating artworks invested with a darkly stitched meticulousness. In 2018 she completed her PhD which investigated settler colonial home-making patterns and practices and examined her family histories as inherited genealogical ghostscapes. Waters has exhibited across Australia and is represented by Hugo Michell Gallery.

A full biography, exhibition list and more can be found at

Getting started
Register in person, via phone or email with either the Riddoch Art Gallery or Walkway Gallery:

Riddoch Art Gallery
1 Bay Road, Mount Gambier
P 08 8721 2563 E [email protected]

Walkway Gallery
43 Woolshed Street, Bordertown
P 08 8752 1044 E [email protected]

By registering you will receive the Telling Tales stitch pack which includes blue and green threads, 22 x 22 canvas, a needle, further instructions, a story card, and return envelope.

Follow us on social media and join the Facebook page for techniques and tips on completing your embroidery.

Finishing up
Along with your embroidery please write a small description of your tale on the Story Card supplied, and send these together in the return envelope to the Riddoch Art Gallery by Friday September 18.

Your stitched image and story will be recorded and then included alongside other contributions to form a large artwork encompassing many tales of the Limestone Coast region.

Stay connected
Like the Facebook page @TellingTalesLimestoneCoast and share your Telling Tales journey with us by tagging us or adding the hashtag #tellingtales to your caption

Tag us on Instagram in any #tellingtales posts @jofifeart @serawaters @the_riddoch @walkwaygallery @countryarts_sa 

For stitching tips, head to the Walkway Gallery website. 

A partnership between Riddoch Art Gallery, City of Mount Gambier, Walkway Gallery, Tatiara District Council. Supported by Country Arts SA and SALA. 

Sera Waters: Domestic Arts is supported by

Sera Waters: Domestic Arts
  • Visual Arts

Sera Waters: Domestic Arts

11th September 2021 — 31st October 2021

This exhibition subverts and unravels the baggage-laden yet wondrous category of making once labelled ‘domestic arts’

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