Susie Vickery

Where I work

I have a lovely workroom looking out over the trees in South Fremantle. I cycle to the beach every morning for a swim before getting stuck into my sewing.

What inspired my work

I have always made work related to my life. ‘It’s Not the Job, It’s the Cabbage’ came about from my background in tailoring for theatre. I set out to research other tailors around the world and to tell their stories.

How I made it

Susie Vickery, It’s Not the Job, It’s the Cabbage: The Lives of Tailors, 2009, Fabric, Thread, 50cmsx35cmsx4cms

‘It’s Not the Job, It’s the Cabbage’ uses tailoring fabrics and stitches to tell the stories of their lives. With the Tibetan tailor I used the form of appliqué and the fabrics used in Tibetan Buddhist Thangkas.

What I am working on

I have just completed a mammoth exhibition called ‘Peregrinations of a Citizen Botanist’ about a French botanist who travelled to Australia in 1792. It was in the form of an interactive cabinet of curiosities. I am waiting to hear if it will tour and if so I will need to work on the preparation for this.

I am also preparing an installation for the Indian Ocean Craft Triennal to be held in Western Australia in 2021. This installation will be about women who travelled in the Indian ocean as men in the 18th and 19th Centuries.

About me

I worked for 20 years as a theatrical costumier specialising in men’s 18th and 19th Century costumes.

After moving to Kathmandu and then Mumbai, I began to embroider and work with women’s handicrafts groups. I have worked with projects in Tibet, Nepal, China, Mexico, India, Turkey, Myanmar, Gaza, and refugee and Aboriginal groups in Australia.

All of this work inspires and informs my embroidered art.


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