Shirley Caldwell

Shirley Caldwell

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Shirley Aird Caldwell (1932-2014)

It is with great sadness that we record the loss of our ex-President Shirley Caldwell. Shirley was a great asset to the artistic community of Tenterfield for many years and her input will be sorely missed.


Shirley was headed for an artistic future from an early age, when she won an art scholarship to East Sydney Technical College in 1947. She studied for five years and obtained a diploma with credit, and also did two years studying pottery at East Sydney. From then on she was exhibiting and winning prizes at the Arts Council and various country shows.


Back in this district, she became a founding member of Tenterfield Art and Craft Society as well as St Stephens and Mingoola Pottery Clubs. She     taught in these institutions and privately.


Branching out, she attended workshops in spinning and weaving, winning several prizes in these areas before founding a business with Barbara Fraser, which involved making hand made knitted garments from home spun wool.

These Shirbaa garments were successfully marketed in Australia and several overseas countries, winning a wool award at WOOL Expo Armidale in 1991.

In 1995 Shirley joined Borderline Regional Arts Association and has exhibited with them on a regular basis as well as occupying executive positions including as President.


Again on a new track, she did workshops with botanical artists David Mackay and Nicola Oram, After which she won several prizes, including the flora section at the Sir Henry Parkes Festival in 2001.  Many media were in Shirley’s repertoire, including water colour, pastels, acrylics, oils, 3D  scratchboard, and textiles. She regularly exhibited in Art in the Woolshed, participated in Borderline’s entries in Inverell and Stanthorpe. As well, her works were shown in local venues, Brookes, Clear View Gallery, Forest to Furniture, and Tentagrafix.


Shirley was a member of both Queensland and Australian Botanical Artists’ Societies and participated in the BASQ Botanical Art Group, (Tenterfield, Stanthorpe and Warwick branch).


Few others have contributed so much specific skill and knowledge to Tenterfield’s aspiring artists, in such a generous and friendly manner.


We offer our sympathy to the Caldwell family.



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