Borders & Bridges was the theme of the 2018 AQC Challenge. Here are the finalists.

The AQC Challenge is held each year and judged at the Australasian Quilt Convention.right-img-aqc
This year, the challenge attracted entries from around Australia, and New Zealand,
Taiwan and South Africa. $5,500 in three cash prizes will be awarded in this prestigious
competition, which is presented by Expertise Events.

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SUE MOBILIA

Western Australia


Is this Paradise?: I looked from the tour bus and saw them, Syrian refugees huddled on a street in Athens, mattresses bundled under tarps. They all had a look of abject misery, here in a place barely able to support itself, let alone provide them with the future they had risked so much to find.

With this thought in my mind I scanned the Internet for more information about borders and bridges, there were so many stories of people crossing bridges and unmanned borders from war torn lands throughout the world. 

Did any of them find their Paradise?

Is this Paradise?

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LINDA CROUCH

Victoria


West Meets East: Ornamental design bridges all cultures, and many centuries. The central border is inspired by Greek and Roman architecture of the Mediterranean, and bridges east and west. The tile patterns of Allhambra Palace, Spain, inspired the left medallion, while the right medallion was inspired by the Taj Mahul, India.

I chose blue and green thread, with a blend of the two colours in the central border, and white for the background represents the white stone used in all these architectural styles.

All of these designs can be found in everyday living today, bridging ancient and modern cultures.

West Meets East

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CATHRYN TAYLOR

New South Wales


Love Bridges all Borders: As our ever increasing population pursues shelter and income in beautifully designed modern glass and steel cities, do we create a border that excludes vitality and vigour?

By bridging this disconnect, we create a loving sustainable nourished community.

Love bridges all borders.

Love bridges all borders

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SILKE STEUXNER

Western Australia


Dragon Magic: Dragon Magic is a Quilt that encourages to tear down the borders of rigid beliefs that things only exist which are visible to the naked eye. Let’s build bridges that open up and allow us entry into a magical world where fairies and dragons exist. Be brave and curious like the little fairy that builds a bridge by approaching the majestic dragon on the wings of a dragonfly. Borders limit us in our experience. Allowing a look behind the vail and crossing the bridge into an enchanting kingdom opens up and brings back the childlike excitement this world so desperately needs.

Dragon Magic


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MARIE MITCHELL

Western Australia


Bridge to Extinction: ‘Bridge to Extinction’ highlights the conflict between humans and nature. Koalas create borders within their eucalypt habitat. Logging in Southeast Queensland forests, shrinks these borders and threatens their survival. Using dyes, printed text, paint and stitch on fabric, I wanted to turn the dry words from the newspaper into imagery that couldn’t be ignored. As human ‘progress’ destroys its habitat, the koala escapes on a log bridge to wasteland. I reflect on the irony of providing koala bridge crossings whilst fragmenting the bushland that serves as their only food source and home.

Bridge to Extinction

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SHIRLEY DRAYTON

Victoria


Echuca Moama Road Rail Bridge & Fruit Fly Border: The Echuca Moama Bridge is the Bridge between Victoria and NSW. Originally a road and rail bridge with the Fruit Fly inspection a stones throw from the bridge, to stop fruit from coming over the border from NSW, to prevent the spread of Fruit Fly. Mr Ron Hicks (Shirley’s uncle) is the Fruit fly inspector in the quilt. The cars had to stop and wait for the train to come across the bridge. Cattle were taken across for market day at approximately 6.00am, again cars had to wait until all stock and stockmen were completely across.

Echuca Moama Road Rail Bridge & Fruit Fly Border

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SUE DE VANNY

Victoria


Bordering Extinction: My inspiration for this theme Bridges and Borders is the diminishing Rhinoceros. These are the White (wide mouthed) Rhino. All of the 5 different types are critically endangered. Having gone on safari in different parts of Africa the Rhinos are almost non-existent due to poaching. Whilst lots of work is being done to stop this practice and the success of some conservation efforts, it’s still a major problem. As for my work in this piece I feel quite passionate that with more help we can turn the rhinos on the bridge around and bring them back to substantial numbers.

Bordering Extinction

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DI TRAMONTANA

New South Wales


Looking For The Edge: Taken from a photograph of my daughter and granddaughter as they gazed out across the sand towards the open ocean. The sand is the border bewteen land & sea. My daughter and granddaughter bridge the generations as they hold hands sharing the moment. They do this often in silent communication of their shared love for the beach.

Looking For The Edge


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RONDA HAZELL

Victoria


Marriage Equality 2017: Marriage equality is the bridge across the heart of human love and understanding. Negative emotions and thoughts make up the sea of negativity that border this act of love.

Marriage equality 2017

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KATHRYN HARMER FOX

Eastern Cape, South Africa


Bridging the Borders: “Bridging the Borders” is both conceptually linked to the theme of Borders and Bridges and by its very title.

The borders are the empty husks of the gumnuts on the right, symbolising youth and as such empty of knowledge, with the full, flowering gumnuts on the left symbolising old age and being full of wisdom and experience.

The bridge is represented by the birds arching in full flight across the sky, connecting one side to the other and symbolising the flight of time between youth and old age.

Leap from one side and trust that our own momentum will carry you to the other side.

Bridging the Borders

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JULIE EVANS

New South Wales


A Hidden Reality: P.T.S.D is an insidious and debilitating disorder. Every part of your life is affected. Enduring workplace harassment and bullying led to devastating consequences for me.

I was told to Build Bridges and get over it. Physically and mentally i was unable to cross the Border from NSW to VIC for several years. My career was shattered.

I learnt to mask emotions in order to function.

Emotionally and creatively i felt dead for several years. The theme resonated immediately for me. the image flashed into my mind and stayed there. Creating it was cathartic.

I am a survivor – speak up about bullying.

A Hidden Reality

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RAYLENE RICHARDSON

Victoria


Serenade: Serenade – Adding another “string to our bow” and breaking down the BORDERS of traditional quilting by adding paint to the quilted piece.

– As a parellel, we see how the violin BRIDGE is small but significant in the impact it has on the sound and integrity of the violin.

– BORDERED here by a time worn frame incorporating musical manuscripts.

Serenade


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NEROLI HENDERSON

Victoria


The World Awaits #TimesUp: Fear of or caused by sexual assault causes restrictions and confinements in lifestyle and thought. These borders are internalized, held within the model, stitched in text. The #MeToo and #TimesUp movements are exciting bridges, for the first time ever women are being heard and believed. The onus is starting to be on men to change—and not on women to curtail their lifestyle, to dress conservatively, to not provoke. Stitched into the background are words of empowerment and hope. This quilt can be hung either way up. The model in bridge pose or flying through the sky, free.

The World Awaits #TimesUp

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LYN MCINTYRE

Victoria


Malala’s Metaphorical Bridge: Bridges span gaps between 2 places and can be made of many strong materials, and borders define areas, but by speaking not for herself but for those without a voice, Malala Yousafzai is tearing down borders and bridging the gap between ignorance and oppression to allow education for all, especially females, using dialogue as her building blocks. The youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, and despite an assassination attempt on her life, Malala continues her fight against the suppression of all young people. “One child, one teacher, on book, one pen can change the world”.

Malala’s Metaphorical Bridge

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LOIS PARISH EVANS

Bay of Plenty


“X Marks the Spot”: The design for this quilt was inspired by and developed from a photograph of a bridge railing and its shadow and the structure of the design is inspired from a closeup of a railway bridge. It has been embellished with quotes about borders and bridges, moving it from the literal to a deeper symbolism of borders we create to separate and bridges we might use to span and provide passage over borders in life.

The title “X marks the spot” means showing the location – are we creating a border or bridge?

“X Marks the Spot”

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DEB LAYT

Victoria


Crossings: As we walk along many paths we touch the texture with our toes but do we understand those who have come before or even care? Let the bridges between us help build love, harmony, and light the future as our many borders shift and merge.

Crossings


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HELEN GODDEN

ACT


Bridges Through my Imagination: Having always been fascinated by the optical illusion art of M C Escher, this artist has designed her own illustration of the pathways of the creative mind; bridges, links and segues from one idea to the next, making unusual connections and stepping beyond the borders of reality; finding new interpretations; new pathways and alternative bridges going beyond the borders of normality.

The continuous stream of consciousness which wraps the border, helps indicate the piece can be rotated and viewed from any angle.

Bridges Through My Imagination

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LINDEN LANCASTER

Victoria


Border Town: I grew up in the border town of Echuca where the Murray River divides Victoria and NSW. I spent many hours on the river – a scruffy, suntanned girl – swimming, fishing and riding my bike up and down the goofies with friends. Sometimes we would construct cubbies in the shadow of the bridge when the river was low. My first kiss was under that bridge, bridging childhood into adolescence. Forty years later, the painted graffiti of first crushes are still being proclaimed from the bridge pylons and framework.

Border Town

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SUSAN SHEATH

Western Australia


Construction: This quilt is a literal, textile interpretation of the theme using my hand dyed fabrics. The girders of the bridge are joined using rivets made from the borders or selvages of commercially printed fabric. My profession as an engineer helped in my design of the structure and influenced the geometric nature of the piecing and quilting. …and as always the sun shines in Australia.

Construction

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LINDA STEELE

Victoria


Mangrove Nursery: Mangrove roots form a bridge underwater providing a safe haven for young fish. Large, predatory fish cannot penetrate the border of dense roots giving young fish a chance to grow and survive on their own.

Mangrove Nursery


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SHAUNA PURSER

New South Wales


My Garden Plan: I invite you into my private garden. Meander between the lush herbaceous borders with their vibrant flowers. Stroll across the rustic bridges, your feet ringing hollow on the wooden planks. Smell the scented air, feel the sunshine on your skin. Gaze upon the quiet pools. This is my sanctuary. This is where I find peace.

My Garden Plan

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JEANNIE HENRY

Queensland


Bethanga – Where Bridge Meets Border: Borders and bridges are artificial constructs created by man but ignored by nature. Bethanga Bridge straddles Lake Hume on the Murray River and provides the link between the states of Victoria and NSW as the border between the two states runs through the middle of the bridge.

Bethanga – Where Bridge Meets Border

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ELIZABETH TAYLOR

New South Wales


Unity: Whilst reading I came across the fact that there are many borders that divide people, but for every border there can also be a bridge. I designed this quilt with simple borders and a geometrically designed bridge which spans across the borders. Although borders can separate, the split face represents the choice of whether we allow the bridge to separate us or bring us all together.

Unity

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HELEN TAIT

New South Wales


The Districts of Venice: The inspiration for this quilt was the way that cities develop neighbourhoods around geographic features such as rivers, harbours and mountains but at the same time having some sort of connection between them such as bridges, tunnels and roads. Venice is an obvious example of this and is divided into six districts, seistieri, which are bounded by canals. Each siestieri has it’s own characteristics such as the very touristy San Marco and the quiet residential area of Cannargio which I have represented by colour. The bridges bind the siestieri into one city.

The Districts of Venice


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TSAI SHU JI

Taiwan


Memories: A person’s happiness is not how much happiness, but how much memory. Gurgling water, clear water, reminiscent of many beautiful things. The bridge is like a path to connect the past and present. When you can calm down you hear your own heart, slow down to find the joy of life.

Memories

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RHONDA WHITE

Victoria


Rainbow Bridge: Our precious pups leave us and cross the “Rainbow Bridge” all too soon. In our world, dogs see only shades of grey, hence the background of the quilt. When they cross the rainbow bridge i like to imagine that they see the world in glorious colour and run free and young once more.

The transition as our dogs leave us is a “rough” and very sad time for us and this is reflected in the “bridge’. Made in happy remembrance of Bella, our first Corgi to cross the rainbow bridge.

Rainbow Bridge

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LAING YU-CHEN

Taiwan


Sunset in Gaomi Wetlands: Gaomi Wetland is the largest wetland conservation area in Taiwan. It is also the best spot for enjoying the setting sun. In order to balance both the sunset and the conservation of endemic species, Gaomi Wetland set up a boardwalk in the wetland as a bridge for the peaceful coexistence of man and creature.

Sunset in Gaomi wetlands

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MARIA MASON

Queensland


Peace: Every time I hear the news it is filled with atrocities and cruelty…..it bruises my shadow. I want to tightly shut my eyes, like a young child wishing not to be seen, in the hope they do not exist…..but they do. Perhaps shining a light on it through the graffiti of tomorrow will prompt us to see…to discuss…to understand…and to bridge the chasm of disinterest and inaction. By adding one reasoned, empathetic voice to another we will steadily erode the borders between us and achieve what we seek and can earn…a Peaceful World.

Peace