Eva Heiky Olga Abbinga

Where I work

I have just moved into a new studio in a redeveloped technical school in the grungy inner north of Melbourne. It is part of an arts precinct that has art galleries and arts organisations and is vibrant and exciting. My studio has freshly painted white walls, polished boards and a monstera plant.

What inspired my work

The work is a homage to the Rajah Quilt, a quilt made by female convicts on their journey to Australia in 1841. For a long time, I had been thinking about the loss of place and the complexity tied up in the land I grew up on as a second and third generation coloniser. I wanted to connect with the local Wathaurong community as well as start a dialogue with my community.

How I made it

The quilt on display is one of 36, that fit together to make a single circular, soft sculpture with a central wooden form. Over 60 people helped me make the quilts, through a series of workshops and take-home kits. There were many hours of stitching along with long conversations, involved in putting the work together.

What I am working on

I am currently in a collaboration with Larissa Linnell. We are making a work titled Shroud of Remembrance which is about the safety of women in public environments. It will be a large silk hanging with small leaf motives embroidered into it. We are currently looking at ways to connect with makers through remote kits and online workshops.

About me

I am currently working from home while looking after my two primary school-aged children. Since COVID 19 struck I haven’t been able to use my new studio at the Collingwood Yards. Luckily, embroidery lends itself to making on the couch. However, I really miss the social and collaborative approach of my practice.

Instagram: @larissaandeva

Facebook: Eva Heiky Olga Abbinga

Website: evaheikyolgaabbinga.com

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