Geraldton artist woven into the floral mix

Francesca MannGeraldton Guardian
Glenda Blyth has combined her love for wildflowers with her enjoyment of making baskets.
Camera IconGlenda Blyth has combined her love for wildflowers with her enjoyment of making baskets. Credit: Francesca Mann, The Geraldton Guardian

If there are two things Glenda Blyth is an expert on, they are wildflowers and basket weaving.

And Blyth has been able to combine her two loves in a new exhibition at the Exchange – upstairs at the Geraldton Visitor Centre.

Presented by The Geraldton Project, the Wildflower & Artistic Delights exhibition is a fresh twist on the visitor centre’s annual wildflower display, showcasing local art pieces alongside bunches of the Mid West’s flora.

Working part-time at the visitor centre as an information officer, Blyth set up the wildflower display with help from husband Murray for the fourth year in a row.

But this year the 66-year-old was able to incorporate her own baskets — handmade with grass, sticks and other natural fibres — into the exhibition.

“It almost feels like my work and art coming together, which is not something a lot of people can say,” she said during the exhibition opening last month.

“I always thought my baskets would complement the wildflowers and last year I thought ‘bugger it’, put down the secateurs and asked.

“It’s nice to know they’re up here when I’m downstairs working.”

A selection of Glenda Blyth’s baskets, on display upstairs at the Geraldton Visitor Centre.
Camera IconA selection of Glenda Blyth’s baskets, on display upstairs at the Geraldton Visitor Centre. Credit: Francesca Mann, The Geraldton Guardian

Blyth discovered basket-weaving during a trip to Carnarvon 10 years ago, stumbling across the intricate yet simple baskets in an art exhibition.

It wasn’t long before Blyth had signed up to a free basket-making workshop in Geraldton, run by a group of Yamaji women. Affectionately known as the Basketcase Lady, Blyth has since made hundreds of baskets of all shapes and sizes.

An avid camper, Blyth said she is constantly inspired by nature.

“There’s a whole lot of wildflowers out there just begging to be explored by more artists,” she said.

“It’s a mind-blowing attraction we’ve got here.”

The exhibition also features wildflower-inspired artwork from Lynda Howitt, Lorraine Lambert, Pam Margetic, Di Taylor and 2019 Youth Ambassador Sammy Jay.

The exhibition is on display until October 1.

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