Mary Jose, Textile Conservator

Cultural Heart

Meet our dedicated city creatives, and learn how they are navigating and finding ways to stay creative and connected in the wake of COVID-19.

Fabric of life mary jose Mary jose fabric of life ottoman

"I am a Textile Conservator and lover of handmade textiles from cultures at home in Australia and across the world.

My core work is the display and preservation of historic and modern textiles and I also present a selection of handcrafted textiles for sale."

I work on textile collections belonging to major institutions like the University of Adelaide, the National Trust and Carrick Hill but the majority of my work is for private collectors. There is such variety of textiles in South Australian collections from William Morris embroideries, Australian Aboriginal textiles, Uzbek embroideries and Egyptian mummy cloths. The great joy of my work is that it is rare that two jobs are the same and I never know what will show up next.

I have been very productive with my conservation practice over the last few months as I work alone and have been able to continue working. I have had very few customers visiting my studio space so my work has been very focused. My textile sales have slowed but I have used my time in isolation to update my website, and my online sales have begun to increase. I feel lucky to have such stability at a time such as this.

What do you hope to see happen next in the City of Adelaide?

I hope we will see the outcome of the work that has been generated by South Australian artists during this time. Social media has enabled artists to keep in touch and explore the experiences of the pandemic. It would be interesting to see this work exhibited over the coming months. SALA is a great opportunity to appreciate the rich and diverse artistic culture we have here in South Australia. I am also on the committee for the Adelaide Park Lands Art Prize 2020 which has been delayed due to the pandemic but I am looking forward to finally seeing all the finalists works for sale at the Adelaide Festival Centre in December.

Where can we see more of your work?

I work from a studio/gallery space at 3A Percy Court, Adelaide, or you can visit my website.