Meg Viney

A collection of works and musings from an artist.

Artist Statement and CV

Meg VineyFrom 1969 to1983 I lived on the West Coast of USA, completing a B.F.A in Fibre sculpture at San Francisco University.

I had not been aware of the importance of the spirit of my homeIand until it was absent.  During a study of tribal cultures, I experienced affinity with Native American Culture. I was struck by the spirituality of these people, who consider all things equal, respect all things, care for all things and believe that all things have spirit.

Native American art celebrates Nature.  By subtly altering, decorating, and formalising nature’s materials, the perception of the quality and role of plant or animal life as man’s spiritual accompaniment is enhanced. Art evokes a living treasure: nature.

Native American culture offered a refuge, and, over time, the affinity grew and began to influence my work. I was never tempted to emulate the art, because that would be disrespectful. In fact, in most tongues, there is no word for ‘art’ as an independent concept. What drew me was the emphasis on respect for all that is, an abiding sense of Spirit. So the work emanated from my understanding of, and my response to, tribal culture.

Upon return to my homeland Australia, I looked at the environment with more awareness, more reverence, and with what I had learned about ‘nature as a living treasure’.

I began looking at plant fibres, with their potential for making paper and started to experiment with all sorts of plant fibres.

There was a shift from an affinity with Native American culture to a full immersion in my beloved Australian culture and a deep love of her environment.

Fred Williams said that he believes an artist essentially only makes one work in his/her lifetime, one central concern that is visited a multitude of times – so an artist revisits the concept that is central to his/her art.

This is true of my own work – there has always been a central concern with containment – this concept ensures emotional, spiritual and physical security, and my work with vessels are just that.

Vessels conjure a recognition that all living entities emerge from a vessel which has held and nurtured the gestating form from conception to emergence – be it an egg, a cocoon, a uterus, a bud, a seedpod, a shell – the reality is Universal – the inference, the possibility of containment. Many of my works are figurative, and yet I perceive them as vessels. People are containers of life, of love, of one another. A mother contains the foetus and then emotionally contains her infant bringing him/her to independence and maturity. Women are, in that sense, vessels.

My practise involves a relationship with Nature’s momentum – I find something wonderful in gathering her cast-offs, and, through a number of simple processes, transforming them. The cast-offs that would otherwise decompose are recycled to become new materials, which have a life of their own – thus the beauty inherent in the plant fibre and subtly concealed by the living plant is revealed as new form.

*Other statements can be found with the various bodies of work.



Secondary: Korowa C.E.G.G.S. Melbourne
Tertiary: Secretarial Diploma, R.M.I.T. 1961
Registered nurse, Alfred Hospital, 1964
Bachelor of Fine Arts, San Francisco University, 1977
Graduate Diploma of Education, Hawthorn Institute of Education, 1988
Diploma of Design, Burwood College, Melbourne,1989
Master of Fine Arts (Major, environmental sculpture) Monash University, 2005


1961-6 Nursing at Alfred Hospital and Royal Children’s Hospital
1968 Move to San Francisco for study and work
1977-83 Teaching and exhibiting throughout U.S.A.
1983 Return to Australia – secretary to Headmaster, Wesley College
1985-7 Head of Textiles, Wesley College, Melbourne
1988-94 Head of Textiles, Mt. Scopus College, Burwood
1994-01 Head of Art, South Coast Christian College, Leongatha
2001-12 Director/Curator of Meeniyan Art Gallery
Current Studio Artist, in my studio in Wooreen, South Gippsland


2023 Artspace, Wonthaggi, ’Seeds: Time Capsules of Life’
2022 Gippsland Art Gallery, Sale, ‘Cosmos’
2020 Gippsland Art Gallery, Sale, ‘Whispering Landscapes’
2019 Artspace, Wonthaggi, ‘Sipapu’
2018 Stanthorpe Regional Gallery, Queensland. ‘Forms of Containment’
2016 Meeniyan Art Gallery, ‘Indigo’
2014 Meeniyan Art Gallery, ‘Indigo’
2013 Meeniyan Art Gallery, ‘Corroboration’
2012 Latrobe Regional Gallery, ‘Vessels for Containment’
2011 Celia Rosser Gallery, Fish Creek ’Time Warp’ (with Lorraine Connelly Northey)
2010 Meeniyan Art Gallery, ’Echoes from the Garden’
2009 Gippsland Art Gallery, Sale, Maffra, ‘Retrospective’
2007 Gippsland Art Gallery, Sale, Maffra, ‘Back to the Land’
2003 Meeniyan Art Gallery, ‘Vistas and Vestments’
2001 Art Affairs Gallery, Melbourne, Heaven on a String’
1998 Solander Gallery, Canberra, ’New Faces’
1998 Bulle Gallery, Melbourne, ‘Indoor, Outdoor’
1997 Lyall Burton Gallery, Melbourne, ‘Shamanic Influences’
1997 Ararat Regional Gallery, ’Shamanic Vestments’
1995 Mteiki Gallery, Phillip Island
1994 Artworks Gallery, Nungurner, ‘Felt as Form’
And so it goes back to 1977


Numerous collections in U.S.A.
Mildura Regional Gallery (acquired)
Artbank Sydney (acquired)
Stanthorpe Gallery (acquired)
Dr. Joseph Brown (collected)


Katherine Westphal and Ed Rossbach
Australian Society of Miniature Art, 1st prize, sculpture
Annual Art Award, Bass Coast, 1st prize, sculpture
South Gippsland Sculpture prize, 1st prize
South Gippsland Small Sculpture Biennale, 1st prize
Archie’s Bald Prize, 3rd prize, sculpture


New Energies, Annual art award & touring exhibition 2001 – 2006, funded by Meeniyan Art Gallery
Fibre as Artform, series of workshops culminating in touring exhibition, funded by Regional Arts Victoria
Pit Pony Project, Wonthaggi Coal Mine Project, funded by Bass Coast Shire Council
A Stitch in Time, Black Saturday healing project, funded by Regional Arts Victoria and Latrobe City Council
Festival for Healthy Living, Yarram, Funded by Victorian Govt and Royal Children’s Hospital
South Gippsland Bale Trail, funded by South Gippsland Shire Council
Girls’ Own Space, funded by Vic Health, and auspices by South Gippsland Shire Council
Artist in Residence, Tarwin Lower Primary School, funded by Victorian Artist in Schools Program
Artist in Residence, Morwell, funded by Polyglot Theatre Company
Teaching numerous classes in Regional Galleries and Community Houses over the last 30 years

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