The Artists of the Barkly try their hand at needle felting

It’s been a busy two weeks at Barkly Regional Arts with fibre artist Tanya Hattingh facilitating two weeks of needle felting workshops, visiting the Tennant Creek and Canteen Creek art studios respectively.


Heather Anderson with her felted bag in the Tennant Creek studio


Over the course of Tanya’s first week in the Barkly, Tennant Creek’s Tartukula Artists swapped out their paintbrushes and canvases for a needles and felt. The studio table, usually covered in pots of paint, was blanketed in vibrant merino wool. The result? A range of brightly coloured bags.

Artists revelled in the opportunity to experiment with fibre, creating familiar images with wool. The felted messenger bags featured familiar motifs from life in the Barkly, bush foods and medicines, bore scenes, waterholes and native birds appear in rich textures and bold colours.


Lindy Brodie showing off her felt bag at the Tennant Creek studio


The following week, Tanya headed out with the Barkly Arts team to the community of Canteen Creek. What began as a workshop with Canteen Creek‘s artists ended up involving the wider community, drawing new and younger faces into the art centre, first time artists took the chance to felt messenger bags of their own.


Lorna Corbett all smiles with her felt bag at the Canteen Creek studio


Again, artists depicted familiar motifs, the flora and fauna of Owairtilla (Canteen Creek) came alive on artists bags, which were distributed to family and friends, the perfect size to carry a phone.

 The process of needle felting involves agitating the wool with a barbed needle to bond its fibres together to create various shapes in rich, soft textures and bold colour.

There is a very limited number of these unique pieces available – enquire here for your chance to snap one up.


Children giving needle felting a go at the Canteen Creek studio
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