Textile maker and passionate environmentalist
Originally from Northern Queensland, Maureen Cooper has called Beechworth and surrounds home for the past thirteen years. On arrival in the region, Maureen settled into retirement by purchasing a property in the Woolshed Valley where she immediately set to work rehabilitating the land, planting native trees, shrubs and grasses and turning unwanted farmland into a sanctuary for birds and wildlife.
An enduring commitment to Nature has taken Maureen down many paths. She is a passionate Bird Surveyor with Birdlife Australia, an enthusiastic volunteer with the local Landcare group while living in Woolshed Valley and a committed campaigner for many national high profile environmental causes. This life long commitment to our Native flora and fauna drive Maureen’s recent foray into textile arts and crafts.
In the tradition of centuries of home craft and making, Maureen is largely self-taught. Her focus is primarily on the Art Quilt but her ambition and industry as a maker has led to the design and adornment of re-useable shopping bags, handmade aprons and other apparel. Local and tourists alike will be familiar with Maureen’s many market stalls over the years, showcasing her intricate craftwork . All fundraising, including the Bimblebox Calendar, which is designed by members of The Bimblebox Alliance, has gone to help her beloved causes – the most noteworthy of which is the fight to protect the Queensland Bimblebox Nature Refuge from mining and development.
For the 2023 ART in Autumn exhibition, Maureen has set herself the task of learning the art of fabric dyeing with natural plant species and fashioning scores of delicate leaves to adorn a sheer screen drop.