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Larry and Mary Beeston at the University of Newcastle, Australia - 1988 | by UON Library,University of Newcastle, Australia
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Larry and Mary Beeston at the University of Newcastle, Australia - 1988



This photo appeared in the Campus Bulletin Number 5, July 22, 1988. The text was:


"Presentation of tapestry for the Great Hall.


On August 6, in the Foyer of the Great hall The Friends of the University will present to the University their Bicentennial gift, in the presence of the Governor, Air-Marshal Sir James Rowland, and Lady Rowland.


The give, a spectacular work, The Hunter Tapestry, is to hang in the Great Hall and will be accepted by the Chancellor, Dr Elizabeth Evatt.


The tapestry has been in preparation for two years since it was commissioned by The Friends. The cost and its installation ($45,000) has been met from the funds raised by The Friends of the University by the 1987 Book Fair.


The Hunter Tapestry is designed by Mary Beeston and woven by Larry Beeston and Rachel Frecker. Two and a half metres high and eighteen metres ling, it is a series of 12 panels celebrating the major events that have made the Hunter Valley what it is today.


The pre-history of the volcanic age, the glacial era, the inundation of the ocean and the first signs of vegetable and animal life lead into the coming of man to the Valley. The, the soldiers, convicts and farmers change the environment, and the Valley, with its towns and cities as we know it, develops. A deep blue river runs through the whole length of the Tapestry, a river of life for the Valley.


Mary and Larry Beeston live and work near Toronto, having lived since childhood and raised their family in the Hunter Valley.


Rachel Frecker, her husband and artist, Alderman John Martin, and their family live near Allandale.


Mary Beeston asked Campus Bulletin for space to express her's and Larry Beeston's thank you:


'There must be few textile artists who have experienced such co-operation from their clients and hosts, as we have done in the designing, weaving and installation of the Hunter Tapestry. Our heartfelt thanks to all who have helped and encouraged us in so many ways.


'The Friends of the University, who commissioned the tapestry, have been wonderful clients who listened to our ideas open-mindedly and have shown an active interest in the progress of the work.


'Special thanks go to our liaison officer, Laurie Short, who has been most supportive, and to the Secretary, Shirley Morris, who has spent weeks actually helping to prepare and hang the tapestry. Without her help I would have been hard pressed to have it ready in time. Her cheerful sharing of the highs and lows of that experience have meant a great deal to me.


'The support received from the University staff has been unfailing. Our thanks to Don Morris for listening, helping and allowing his staff to give so much of their time to us. thanks to Jeff Morgan, who was untiring in solving the manifold problems of the physical hanging of the work with sensitive understanding. And thanks to Paul and John, to Lance Roberts and his security staff, and others who have shown a great deal of interest and cheerful encouragement to us while we have been working in the Green Room.


'Your sharing interest and your faith has added to our joy and satisfaction in the work. Thank you all!'


Pictured: Mrs Mary Beeston and Mr Larry Beeston with portion of a panel for the Great Hall tapestry.


This image was scanned from a photograph in the University's historical photographic collection held by Cultural Collections at the University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia.


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Taken in July 1988