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Folding Australia 2003

Folding Australia
Australia's first large scale origami exhibition and convention was held in Melbourne, Australia. May 14 thru May 17, 2003. The exhibition opened on Wednesday night May 14th and closed at the end of the convention, which ran all day Saturday.

Witchety grub - David Moell

After setting up the exhibit on Tuesday we were all nervous but very excited. Finally after the months of planning, a year of fundraising, tons of phone calls and hundreds of emails, the biggest event in Australian origami history was about to take place.

Opera House – Brenda Saunders
The opening was a great success with ABC Asia Pacific filming the exhibit and a reporter from a local Japanese newspaper taking still photos for an article. We were fortunate enough to have six of the nine exhibiting artists in attendance. (Martin Liu, Matt Gardiner, Brenda Saunders, Steven Casey, Darren Scott, Michael Palamoutain). After a short speech by Matt Gardiner of welcome and gratitude we enjoyed the opening reception, exhibits guests, family and friends.

Numbat – Steven Casey
The exhibit gallery was open to the public Thursday and Friday. Martin Liu and Brenda Saunders answered questions and taught models to those interested.

Griffin – Michael Palamoutain,
Blue bottle - Meg Quinlisk

Finally it was convention day. This was something Martin and Darren had talked about since our first informal meeting more than five years ago. We managed to fund the convention from monies earned by the group from commercial commissions and teaching at various festivals.

Opening night
The convention began with Bill Clark and Michael Janson-Gibson from Canberra teaching. Our first visitor of the day was a man who was on his way home from the market, he graciously taught us how to fold a small elephant and a swan.

Matt Gardiner and family Opening night
Meg Quinlisk, an exhibitor from Sydney, has started a small folding group in Sydney and attended the convention to find out the current state of origami in the rest of the country. Rodney Flett and Michael Palamoutain both from country Victoria attended the convention. More than 50 were in attendance over the day. Rodney had a collection of models folded from homemade tissue foil. Michael P. had a collection of very small models to share including an original seahorse. Matt Gardiner taught several models and My Trinh Ha took photos. Thank you My Trinh for all your help before and through out the convention with invitations, name plates and countless other details. David Moell from Hobart, Tasmania attended and arrived with about 3 books worth of original diagrams, and a brand new model he had created while waiting for his flight.

Foot folding
Informal classes continued through out the day. Darren Scott taught one of Ron Koh's goldfish and several other models that he’d learned from other conventions. Martin Liu taught the jitterbug while Bill Clark taught a selection of original tessellations.

Bushman Hat and Slouch Hat – Darren Scott
After a busy day of folding, we adjourned to a local pizza shop. As we waited for our order, Steven Casey ran a short discussion on different methods of creating models, with almost 30 years of experience the talk was very informative. Over dinner we talked about the state of origami in Australia and our plans for further conventions. After dinner it was time for some creative folding, folding cranes with our feet. Some decided to continue by folding cranes and flapping birds behind their backs, while others took the chance to look at some rare books such as VIVA Origami and several fist editions and out of print convention annuals.

Late night folders
Darren Scott provided methylcellulose for people who were interested in trying some wet folding. He showed a few examples of his wet folding efforts including a bear and hats from the exhibit. Steven Casey taught one of his Kangaroos and his Kola on a branch. We concluded folding and our convention around 3am.

Our first convention was a great success; we hope to see you all at our first international convention in 2004.

For more information on our convention CD with photos and diagrams for many of the exhibited works, please check our web page
( or email Darren Scott at


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Folding Australia 2003 Convention CDROM
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