1) Michael Evans

2) Beth Ley

3) Jonne Wilson

4) George Hollingshed


1)Helen Evans

2)Fiona McDonald


Paper Art

1)Katherine McKinnon

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Textile Artist

  Helen Evans working on a tactile picture.

Helen has been working for a year on 23 pictures to illustrate her story about five dinosaurs and the book has now been published. (November 2016) and copies are for sale in the gallery.

The original pictures have been sewn into book form and it is in the gallery. You'll be amazed when you see it.

One dinosaur swims away to find gold at the end of a rainbow but when he doesn't return his four  friends set off to find him. To see what happens, you need to buy a copy of the book.

Available from

Or call into the gallery or contact Helen here

On 18th February Helen held a book launch at the gallery and it was a lot of fun for everyone especially the children who did a number of activities including a pretend dinosaur dig in the gallery garden. Here they are:

Here is what Peter Taylor says ( Author

Five Friendly Dinosaurs will be a book much loved by children. Helen is an accomplished and well-practiced storyteller who knows the tastes of her audience well - and what a treat theyíll find. The vibrant illustrations bringing the story to life have been created from a multitude of perfectly chosen fabrics. Each reading will give a fresh appreciation of the appropriateness of the textures and patterns, and of the stitched details. In the story, five dinosaur friends choose different pathways and opportunities to explore their world. While children will discover the consequences for one dinosaur, the story fosters imaginative discussion and speculation as to the fate of the others. Who will find their remains, and where and when will they do so? The story is likely to encourage fossil fascination and the illustrations will stimulate childrenís creativity, making the book a very rewarding addition to family and library shelves. 


Helen Evans was born and educated in Armidale. She completed her B.A. with Dip. Ed. in 1959 and later did a Diploma in Early Childhood. For many years she was the director at the Save the Children Pre-School in Armidale (now known as Minimbah), and then moved to teaching at TAFE. Helen began making textile art accidentally when she wanted to illustrate some unpublished stories she had written. Although she didnít think herself very accomplished at sewing, she had made most of her childrenís clothes including tutus for her daughterís  ballet concerts, so she decided to accept the challenge of making pictures with fabric

Her first textile experiments were tactile books for babies. These books were very successful.

Here are some examples of the pictures she made.

 Babies need colourful, simple pictures with a variety of textures to feel. These pictures include fur, vinyl and felt.

Next Helen made interactive pictures so that children could help to make or change the pictures. Here is an example from her Goodnight Book.


Baby possum can come off her motherís back.



The caterpillar can come out of the cocoon or be zipped up.

 As her confidence grew, Helen began sewing the illustrations for whole picture books that she had written.

When illustrating a book, Helen writes the story first and then plans the number of pictures, and jots down an idea for each picture. Creating the pictures is quite complicated. She uses calico as the backing, and it has to be washed and ironed first. Sometimes she uses paint as well as fabric to create the pictures and the painting must be done before any sewing is started.

She draws paper patterns and uses those when cutting out the fabric.

Helen has a big supply of fabric scraps but sometimes buys something special. While she mainly uses soft dressmaking fabric, she includes leather, raffia, paper, artificial leaves and flowers when needed.

Here are some pictures from books that she was commissioned to make.

This story is about Jaro, the baby giraffe and friends.

   Helen used fabric and plastic leaves on this tree.

          In this story, Jonah finds a magic Ball.          A tiger is lurking and wants to play ball too.

Some pictures take more than a week to make. The last picture book she made took seven months to complete and had 18 pictures, but a book for a baby only takes a week.

Most of Helenís pictures are created through machine embroidery which occupies her while she is on duty in the Chaucer on Bridge Street Gallery. However, she doesn't like to sit at the machine for more than two hours at a time. She is now concentrating on making individual pictures which can be made in several days.

Some of her latest pictures are abstract fantasy, as well as landscape ones. Although the pictures are very tactile, the latest ones have been framed for sale and hang in the gallery where many people admire them.

Here is what some visitors have said:

 Helen, I love your work.  Itís just stunning. Kids would absolutely love your work. Liz F.

The pictures below, are some that Helen made for children in 2011. They are based on nursery rhymes and games. Each one took several days to complete. They are all framed and waiting for someone to take them home for special children in their lives.



Click here for more of Helen's pictures

Helen Evans is also a writer and storyteller. Go to



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