Artists reinvent the humble tea towel as artwroks at Port Fairy's Winter Weekends

The Farmers Wife Harvest Cafe owner Jo O’Keefe holding one of the tea towels on exhibition.
The Farmers Wife Harvest Cafe owner Jo O’Keefe holding one of the tea towels on exhibition.

THE humble tea towel, usually restricted to the kitchen, was reinvented in a multitude of ways and transformed into art as part of Port Fairy’s Winter Weekends. 

From cushions, to quilts, bunting and boots, south-west residents got creative in the The Great Port Fairy Tea Towel Exhibition. 

The competition attracted 30 entries which are currently on display at The Farmers Wife Harvest Cafe in Sackville Street.

Owner Jo O’Keefe was surprised and pleased with the number of entries and eye-catching methods used in the competition, with the winner decided by the public votes which will be counted next weekend.

“It was my idea. I was trying to think of something to do with the food weekend and the cafe. I was originally going to do it with aprons but I didn’t know how I was going to hang them”.

A Food Wonderland — A Weekend of Port Fairy Indulgences was the weekend’s theme and included food and wine tastings, a gourmet food trail, art, history and music.

Ms O’Keefe said the competition provided an avenue for everyday people to demonstrate their creativity.

“It’s not high-end art but it gives them an option to get their work out and be seen,” Ms O’Keefe said.

She said the artists used mixed media, paint and embroidery in the tea towel exhibition. Another was completely hand beaded. 

“There was one (tea towel) from as far away as Narrawong and the youngest (artist) was a seven year old.”

One entry featured a golf club and tee with the words ‘tee time’ and another was a canvas with appliqued waves made from tea towels.

“We even had a pair of boots covered with tassels (made) of tea towels from the op shop and the shoe box was decorated with tea towels as well.”