Narelle Jubelin

The First Cloud, 1986
petit point with found frame
29 x 67 cm (frame) petit point 3.7 x 7.5 cm ; 3.6 x 7.7 cm; 3.5 x 7.6 cm
signed, dated and inscribed with title ‘Narelle Jubelin 1986/’The First Cloud’ (on the reverse)

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Mori Gallery, Sydney
Private collection, Sydney

Hi(s)story: A Small Reminder, Mori Gallery, Sydney, 1986 

‘When Narelle Jubelin mounted her Hi(s)story: A Small Reminder exhibition at the Mori Gallery in 1986, the message was as apt as its materialism. The show consisted of embroidered miniatures of historic monuments around Sydney, mounted in sardonically ornate frames from second-hand shops. Everyone appreciated the point of the petit point. The ironic twist of a woman artist exploiting the patriarchy’s trivialisation of embroidery as “mere” domestic art to brings its own heroic pretensions down to size was like a breathe of fresh air in the ponderous atmosphere of contemporary High Art” (Vivienne Johnson, ‘People Deliver Art’, Narelle Jubelin - Trade Delivers People, Aperto, La Biennale di Venezia, 1990, exhibition catalogue, unpaginated)
“Needlework is traditionally a supremely feminine medium - passive, repetitive, labour intensive and gently appealing. However Jubelin deploys these qualities deliberately in order to ‘seduce’ the viewer; her tiny representations of New South Wales’ public parklands and monuments are indeed exquisitely appealing, but they are no more innocent than the scenes they represent. As Jubelin wrote concerning her exhibition at Mori’s Gallery in October 1986, ‘His Story tells of patriarchal colonisation. Each sequence of accidents and unforeseen events ‘echoing the tales their forefather's told’ weaves the elaborate fabric of culture…. The form is familiar and insidious.  Parklands eulogise, warfare gracing their monuments as tacit bastions of male power. The founding days are over but the select restoration of their relics conserves the consistency of the patterns” (Bronwyn Hanna, Review Paper ‘The Subversive Stitch’, Transition, RMIT, Melbourne, July 1987.

  • The First Cloud

Image courtesy of the artist

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Narelle Jubelin was born in Sydney in 1960 and has been living and working in Madrid, Spain since 1996, producing her single thread petit-point renditions of photographs that weave connections between histories and places across cultures and periods. Jubelin's practice is grounded in research and each new work is connected to previous projects by a narrative thread.

In 1990 Jubelin presented the groundbreaking exhibition Trade Delivers People at Aperto in the Venice Biennale. The exhibition explored the histories of colonialism and economics and the ways in which local resources and populations are have been exported and exploited globally.

Jubelin has exhibited widely in Australia and internationally, with major exhibitions including the solo exhibition Vision In Motion, University of Sydney, 2012, touring to Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA), Melbourne and Samstag Museum, University of South Australia, Adelaide to 2013; Sidney Nolan: Early Experiments/Narelle Jubelin: Coda, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne, Australia, 2012-2013; and The Great Divide, Angela Ferreira & Narelle Jubelin, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2009. Most recently, in 2019, a major three-artist exhibition, The Housing Question - Helen Grace, Narelle Jubelin, Sherre DeLys, was held at Penrith Regional Gallery. She was also, in 1985, the co-founder of Firstdraft Gallery, Sydney.