L’Aguille en Fete 2015

 L’Aguille en Fete 2015, Paris, France: 12 - 15 February 2015




Based on an original painting by French artist, 
Claire Biette 
and specially embroidered for the 
Exhibition in Paris.


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OzAsia Festival 2014

 OzAsia Festival 2014, Adelaide, South Australia: 3 September - 12 October 2014






Embroidery Highlights From “Silk Legacy” Exhibitions (OzAsia 2014 and L’Aguille en Fete 2015)

A number of pieces were embroidered specially for  the ‘Silk Legacy’ exhibition. They were kept largely under wraps over the many years of preparation and shown publicly for the first time at the Exhibitions. Among the exhibits were also pieces stitched in the traditional way by embroidery enthusiasts from around Australia, New Zealand and Europe.

Exhibits from Margaret Lee Embroidery:

Hundred Butterflies    

Butterflies in Chinese culture symbolize longevity, love and happiness. This painting of a hundred butterflies is well known. The display of colours presented by this group of flying butterflies, embroidered  using very fine silk threads portrays a feeling of lightness, freedom and happiness.


                           Joy in the Lotus Pond                                                                                       Morag

Morag is a special dog belonging to Gilian and Duncan Smith of SA.
She has the ability to detect persons with a diabetic condition.
This embroidery was stitched from a photo.               




Moon Light Frolic


Still Life of Glassess in a Basket

The challenge of this design was to capture the translucent quality of the glasses and the characteristics of the materials for the different objects - the rattan of the basket, the wood of the table and the metal of the goblets.
Based on a painting by German Still Life artis Sebastian Stoskopff in 1644


                                                                                    Droving into The Light

It was the light depicted in the painting that inspired. The challenge of recreating the ambience was an exciting propect.
The embroidery process itself has been a great journey of discovery.
Based on the painting by Sir Hans Heysen OBE (1877 - 1968)


Australian birds series

Birds are a much loved subject in Chinese art and gained prominence in the Song dynasty. It is especially suited to silk embroidery as a subject as the reflective quality of the silk threads lend itself to protraying them in a realistic and vibrant way

For the exhibition Margaret collaborated with prominent South Australian artist Jeremy Boot and embroidered a series of Australian birds based on his paintings.

The White Breasted Sea Eagle *

Its majestic pose is captured in this picture, perched atop a rock surveying his realm.

* Based on original painting by Jeremy Boot  



                     Kookaburra *                                            Sacred Kingfisher  *                                           Blue Fairy Wren  *                                                              


Birds from Traditional Chinese Paintings



This design is steeped in meaning as cranes hold a special place in Chinese culture. As the longes living in the bird kingdom, it symbolises longevity. Cranes mates for life and in a family, both male and female work together in building the nest and raising their young. They are therefore considered to be symbols of happiness, good luck and fidelity in marriage.

In this picture, the cranes stand in a lotus pond where only lotus pods and leaves are represented. Lotus pods, when ripe, carry many lotus seeds and symbolises ‘plenty’.

Lotus seeds and wall hangings with cranes are often displayed in a traditional Chinese wedding.



Images of peacock displayed in a Chinese home are considered to promote good providence. Chinese lore has ascribed 9 virtues to the peacock. They have a tidy face, clear voice, careful walk, good and appropriate behaviour, contended, moderate in food and drink, not being obscene and always returning. They are also a symbol of authority.



 White Splendour         

   Based on a painting by Zhou Tianjin.

Double Sided Embroidery


B0unty of the Sea


Rank Badges represent the most well known use of embroidery in government in China's history.  The badges,  also known as Mandarin Squares, were worn by military and civilian officials of the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing Dynasties(1644-1911).  The embroidered squares identify the rank  and role of the  official by the animal or bird symbol represented. There were 9 ranks each for the civil and military service. The animals depicted  for the civil service were drawn from the bird kingdom while that for the military service were from the animal kingdom or mythical animals.
This series of embroideries are from Margaret Lee's private collection.

Rank Badges Civil


                          Crane                                                     Golden Pheasant                                               Peacock


                        Wild Goose                                               Silver Pheasant                                            Mandarin Duck


                           Quail                                                  Paradise Fly Catcher                                                 Quail

Rank Badges Military                           


                                  Qilin                                                        Lion                                                         Leopard


                                                      Tiger                                                                                  Panther


                                                      Rhinoceros                                                                         Seahorse

Exhibits from around Australia, New Zealand and Europe:


                                  Anna Lang                                                     Annie Power                                 Barbara Edwards 


                          Bonnie Yau                                  Cecilia Andersson                                 Del Harrington-Hawes


                           Eileen Lademan                             Eliane Aubry   - France                        Gina  MacMonagle


                        Ineke Jansen                                     Judy Goodwin                                 Jacqueline Poirier  - France



               Judith Truscott                                       Kerrie Bennet                         Lenie Van Wijchen-Jansen  - Netherlands



                        Lesley Neuhaus                                            Maria Gilles                                             Maria Trajikovic                  


                          Marie Hansen                         Marie Madeleine Jouanneau  - France        Mari-Jan Bakker  - Netherlands  


        Maureen Moore  - New Zealand                               Narelle Rebetzke                                               Sally Randle             


                                           Sushama Balasingham                                                 Sushama Balasingham

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