CLICK HERE to download the free Yumi Olgeta: Crafting a More Inclusive Democracy Embroidery and Applique Instruction Booklet



Artist Helen Fraser was born in Kyneton, Victoria, Australia in 1970.  After graduating with degrees in Psychology, Helen decided to pursue an artistic path.  Throughout the 1990's she explored numerous mediums after initially training with tonal realist painter Barbara McCallum for four years in Melbourne.  In her early 40's she found her true creative voice by focusing on her passions of textiles, history, nature and human nature.  Her drawings and textiles have been featured in MindFood Magazine and Down Under Textiles and she has been interviewed by ABC Radio Bendigo and Canberra.   

Helen is a participant in the highly successful international United Declaration of Human Rights Quilt Project (#UDHR Quilt Project)  which was on exhibition at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, Canberra from 2019-20.  Her quilt block was projected onto the front of Old Parliament House during Enlighten Canberra Festival 2019. This project has led to intensive research into Australia's Slave Trade history resulting in an ongoing collaboration with the Australian South Sea Islanders Port Jackson in Sydney and the Museum of Australian Democracy in Canberra.  In August 2019 she ran a workshop called Yumi Olgeta: Crafting a More Inclusive Democracy to help the community learn about Australia's history and its impact through the process of creating chain stitch embroidery together.  This led to the development of her first craftivism project which is currently underway where participants are creating embroidery for a commemorative quilt that will be donated to the Museum of Australian Democracy.  She has also collaborated with the Napen Napen Cultural women of Port Vila, Vanuatu who have created three stunning weavings for the quilt which will be completed by late 2022.

Helen draws upon history to inspire her art as it reminds her of her own fragmented history as well as the cracks in the development of Australia and other colonial countries.  By pulling the fragmented threads back together, one stitch at a time, she heals and transforms herself while hoping to inspire others to heal also. Through her art making she hopes to contribute to a more integrated mature country.   For example, one of her Tassel ink drawings has been used in an awning installation titled Site Echoes by Julie Stoneman and Futago Design for the new Movenpick Hotel in Elizabeth Street, Hobart, Tasmania.  The interior design will focus on the past use of this historic site which includes First Nations history and the Palace Theatre.

Helen is also a contributor to the upcoming podcast by USA artist Crista Cloutier who developed the renowned Working Artist Masterclass on-line training program. She is also a passionate supporter of The Big Roast for Cystic Fybrosis and donates artwork annually for their silent auction.

Helen currently lives and works in the Macedon Ranges, Victoria, Australia. Her work is held in private and public collections in Australia, NZ, USA, Canada and Italy. She is a member of The Embroiderers Guild, Victoria, Bendigo Branch.  Her work can be purchased through regular solo and group shows, Falkner Gallery Castlemaine and Radius Art Hepburn Springs in Victoria, Australia. She also has an online shop which is reopening soon and studio visits can be arranged by appointment.

Photo credit: Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, Canberra during Enlighten Canberra Festival 2019.


Solo Exhibitions

2020  The Jefferson Grid, Hume Global Learning Centre Public Gallery, Sunbury 

2018 Tassels and Fragments, Falkner Gallery, Castlemaine

2017  Mountain Is Myself, Gallerysmith Project Space , North Melbourne

2017  Mummy, I’ve Lost my Teddy, Alternating Current Art Space, Windsor

2013  Footsteps Through the Forest, Exhibit Artist Space, Kyneton

Selected Group Exhibitions

2022   Falkner Gallery (upcoming)

2021   Group Exhibition, Radius Art Gallery, Hepburn Springs (current)

2021  Journey, Falkner Gallery, Castlemaine (including Castlemaine Festival)

2019  Xmas Show, Falkner Gallery, Castlemaine 

2019   Artistic Needles, The Embroiders Guild, Vic, Annual Exhibition

2019   Crafting Resistance, Kingston Arts

2019   St Kevins Art Show, Melbourne

2019   Six Moments in Kingston Public Bus tour (part of Tal Fitzpatrick’s exhibit)

2018-20   UDHR Quilt Project Exhibition, Old Parliament House, Canberra 

2018   Embroidery For All Seasons, Embroidery Guild of Vic, Bendigo Branch

2018   Small Works From a Big Place, Jumpleads, Central Victoria

2018   Follow the Thread, Living Arts Space, Bendigo

2018   Camberwell Art Show, Melbourne

2018   Collaberration with Danish Quapoor, Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery

2017    Annual Altered Book/Book Arts Exhibition, Marin MOCA, California

2017    Nasty Women Everywhere, Melbourne

2017    Nasty Women Art Exhibition, New York

2015    White Shoe Box Gallery, Castlemaine State Festival

2015     Art in the Streets, Bendigo

2014     Diversity, Black Anther Gallery, Woodend

2013     Imagine, Bakery Lane, Woodend 

2013      Picture This, Gasworks Art Park 

2006      Linden Postcard Show, St Kilda

2005      The Artery, Brunswick

2004      Gallery 99, Flinders Street, Melbourne

Public Installation

2020     Tassle Ink Drawing in Site Echoes awning Installation, Movenpick Hotel, Hobart, digital print in glass by Julie Stoneman and Futago Design.

2019     United Declaration of Human Rights Quilt Block (Article 4: Ban on Slavery) shown on the front of Old Parliament House in Canberra during the Enliven Canberra light show on Friday 8th March, 2019.


Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, Canberra, Australia

Centre for Adult Education Library, Melbourne

Scotch College, Melbourne

Imago Mundi – Luciano Benetton Collection, Italy

Private Collections in Australia, NZ, USA and Canada

Press and Publications

‘Creativity takes Flight’, Sunbury Leader, Tuesday Mar 3rd, 2020, p.6

‘The Jefferson Grid’,This is Sunbury Magazine, March 2020 Edition, p 12-15. (Read at

‘Yumi Olgeta; an Inclusive Craftivism Workshop’, Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, Canberra. Read at

‘The Democratic Power of Craftivism’, Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, Canberra . Read at

Children of Sugar Slaves: Black and Resilent. Masters Thesis by Waskam Emelda Davis (2020)

Craftivism as DIY Citizenship: The Practice of Making Change, Tal Fitzpatrick PhD Thesis (2018), p.125-126.

 ‘Enhance Your Natural Beauty with Creativity’, Medicare Beauty Digital Magazine, USA . Read at

‘It is Never Too Late to Create; Fulfilling Your Dream to be an Artist at Midlife’, Medicare Beauty Digital Magazine, USA, Read at

‘A Long Search For My True Voice’, Down Under Textiles, Edition 34, Nov/Dec 2018, p.73-76.

Gisborne Gazette: ‘A Meditative Exhibition’, April 2018, p. 10

MindFood Magazine: 2018 Future Trends Report – Slavery in Art Form, Jan/Feb 2018, p.11.

Looking Down Under: Contemporary Artists From Australia, 2016, p.164-165.

Bendigo Advertiser, ‘A Child Of The Forest’, February 18, 2015, p. 04

Bendigo Advertiser, 'Art In The Streets 2015: Showcasing Local and Regional Artists', February 13, 2015, p.03 & .06

Sunbury Leader, 'Childhood Memories Come To Life', June 11, 2013, p. 07


ABC Radio Canberra interview by Greg Bayliss on Saturday 17th August, 2019, 7.07am to discuss Craftivism and the Yumi Olgeta:Crafting a More Inclusive Democracy Workshop being held that afternoon at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House.  Link available via

ABC Central Victoria interview by Derek Guille with Sharon Seyd, Founder of Jumpleads and curator of Small Works From a Big Place travelling exhibition.  Topics included the exhibition and the importance of buying local art.  Thursday 22nd Nov, 2018, 6.40am.  Link available via


Contributor to Crista Cloutier’s podcast series for artists ‘The Working Artist: Step-by-Step Guide from Feather to Wings.  Interviewed via Skype on 11th June 2019.  Podcast to be released in 2022-23.


Hume City Council Art Awards 2020, Commendation

Community Projects

2020   Covid 19 Quilt Project

2020   Hume Library Community Quilt Project (Development, ongoing)

2019   The Pocket of Kindness Skirt, The Story Costumer, Kyneton

2019+ The Yumi Olgeta:Crafting a More Inclusive Democracy collaboration with ASSIPJ (Development, ongoing)

2019+ Arts Action, Pop Up Art Group, Central Victoria (current)

2018   United Declaration of Human Rights Embroidery Sampler

2018    United Declaration of Human Rights Quilt Project, Melbourne

2017    Nasty Women Art Exhibition, Melbourne (Development)

2016    You Are So Very Beautiful, Melbourne

2016     Art Matters, Pop Up Art Group, Central Victoria

 Artist Talks/Workshops

2020-23   SugarFest Yumi Olgeta Workshops, Sydney sponsored by the City of Sydney

2020   The Jefferson Grid Artist Talk at the Hume Global Learning Centre Gallery, Sunbury (Mar 5, 2020)

2020   Community Quilting Workshop teaching hand quilting design where participants design and stitch a quilting block that may be contributed to a quilt for the new Hume Global Learning Centre Library (Feb 29, 2020)

2019   Embroidery Guild of Victoria, Bendigo Branch, October meeting to discuss Yumi Olgeta

2019   Chain Stitch Workshop and discussion with Waskam Emelda Davis and Aunty Lydia George, Museum of Australian Democracy, Old Parliament House, Canberra, August 17th as part of the 25th Anniversary of ASSI Commonwealth Recognition as a distinct cultural group.

2019   Create Harcourt Craft Retreat hand quilting demonstration, Harcourt.

2018   UDHR Quilt Project, Museum of Australian Democracy, Old Parliament House, Canberra

2018    Falkner Gallery, Castlemaine

2018    UDHR Quilt Project Talks by Artists as part of Craftivism HQ Exhibition by Tal Fitzpatrick, Melbourne

2018      Kew Gardens Aged Care, Kew, Melbourne

2017      Embroidery Guild of Victoria, Bendigo Branch

2013      Exhibit Artist Space, Kyneton

 Art Research Trips

2019      25th Anniversary of the ASSI Commonwealth Recognition Celebration, Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney, Friday 23rd August.

2018      New York City, Newport Rhode Island, Monroe Louisiana and Missoula/Ronan/Glacier National Park Montana including Flathead Indian Reservation

2018      Townsville, Australian South Sea Islanders

2017       Sydney, Australian South Sea Islanders – Port Jackson


National Association of Visual Artists (NAVA)

The Embroiderers Guild, Victoria

Bendigo Branch, Embroiderers Guild, Victoria

Victorian Association of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapists (Guest Member)

Victorian History Library; Mechanics Institute, Prahran, Melbourne

Australian Psychological Society

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Peoples Interest Group - APS

Reconciliation Victoria

Associate Member of Australian South Sea Islanders – Port Jackson


2011     Advanced Professional Artist Program, CAE, Melbourne

2004-5  Diploma of Visual Art, CAE, Melbourne 

2000-4   Taught under Barbara McCallum, Tonal Realist Painter, Ringwood

1996       Graduate Diploma of Applied Psychology (Counselling), NTU

1988-91   Bachelor of Behavioural Science, Latrobe University