Birkenhead Point Shopping Centre: Interview with Sky Carter

Weaving in the New Year

Artist Sky Carter discusses her exciting new project at Birkenhead Point

With the new year fast approaching, writer Montana O’Neill managed to get in contact with textile artist Sky Carter to discuss her art practice and her latest Chinese New Year inspired project at Birkenhead Point Shopping Centre.

She is the third artist to showcase her work in the Birkenhead Point window display.

Beginning her creative journey as a painter, Sky came across the art of weaving five years ago.

Within a year, she transformed her studio into a personal haven, with balls of yarn piled floor to ceiling in every direction. “I was far more excited about being able to use yarn and other soft materials to create abstract (sic) expressionistic works for the wall.”

Sky is extremely excited to have been approached by Birkenhead Point, Sydney earlier this year to develop a window installation for Chinese New Year, 2018. “I have always loved the colours, vibrancy and symbolism of Chinese celebrations,” she said to me.

Sky is particularly fond of the red envelopes, traditionally used to give money at New Year, they are a symbol of prosperity, good fortune and celebration. They will feature in the golden wall hangings along with foil coated fabrics and 3D sculptural pieces. Sky said “I am incorporating some traditional elements into the works as well as keeping the overall look contemporary and a bit glam!”

When asked what drew her towards the fibre medium she uses in her practice, Sky went on to explain that, “the heritage of the practice and the lack of elitism in the way it ties into the world of ‘crafts’ really appealed to me. I found it a far more expressive avenue for me as it tied into notions of softness and nurturing which are things I really respond to."

All creative careers come with their challenges and this was no exception for Sky. She said the biggest challenge of her career so far has been, “making a living from my art practice.”

In order to overcome this challenge Sky developed a series of workshops, Weave a Wall Hanging and Hand Tufting using Latch Hook, in Sydney. This meant that she could produce income beyond profits made from selling her work. She said, “This challenge has led to one of the most rewarding parts of my practice, I love teaching!”

Overall the rewards outweigh the challenges as she reflects on her creative career with pride and joy stating that “even the creative frustrations and ‘blocks’ are all a privilege to experience and I constantly feel grateful for the life I have been able to create for myself.

Read more about other Birkenhead Point window displays with the work of Jo Neville and Kate Robinson

Giles Colliver