About me

Sera Waters is an Adelaide based artist, arts writer and academic. Since being awarded a Ruth Tuck Scholarship in 2006 to study hand embroidery at the Royal School of Needlework (UK), Waters’ art practice has been characterised by a darkly stitched meticulousness. Her embroideries and hand-crafted sculptures dwell within the gaps of Australian histories to examine settler-colonial home-making patterns and practices, especially her own genealogical ghostscapes.

Major exhibitions include Dark Portals, at the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, University of Western Australia (2013), Sappers and Shrapnel at Art Gallery of South Australia (2016), and Going Round in Squares at Ararat Gallery TAMA (2019). In 2017 she was the recipient of the inaugural ACE Open South Australian artist commission, where she staged her solo exhibition Domestic Arts. This exhibition will tour South Australian regional galleries from June 2020 with Country Arts SA.

Her works are held by the Cruthers collection of Women’s art, Ararat Regional Gallery, the Art Gallery of South Australia and private collections nationwide. Waters is a studio member of The Incinerator, Thebarton, lecturer at Adelaide Central School of Art, and is represented by Hugo Michell Gallery.

Beloved I (Her)



2014-2018 PhD, School of Art, Architecture and Design, University of South Australia
Doctoral title: Genealogical Ghostscapes: unsettling settler colonial home-making legacies in South Australia’.
Supervisor: Emeritus Professor Kay Lawrence. Co-supervisor: Dr Kathleen Connellan.
2003-2006 Masters of Arts in Art History, Adelaide University
1997-2000 Bachelor of Visual Arts (First Class Honours), SASA, University of SA


2020 Domestic Arts, touring with Country Arts SA to SA regional galleries (from 2020-2021)
2019 Dazzleland, Hugo Michell Gallery, SA
2019 Going Round in Squares, Ararat Gallery (TAMA), opening November, Ararat Vic
2018 Genealogical Ghostscapes, praxis ARTSPACE, Adelaide SA
2018 Limb by Limb, Art Collective WA, Perth WA
2017 Domestic Arts, ACE Open, Adelaide SA
2015 Spectre Folk, Hugo Michell Gallery, Adelaide SA
2014 Ghostscapes, Fontanelle Gallery, Adelaide SA
2013 Dark Portals, Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, University of Western Australia WA
2011 CavernLight, Lowrise Projects, Melbourne VIC
2011 Flocked, Inside SAM’s Place residency, SA Museum (with Craftsouth), Adelaide SA
2010 Flyblown, FELTspace, Adelaide SA
2009 Craft’n Disaster, The Project Space, Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia, Adelaide SA
2008 artroom5, Adelaide SA
2006 Crooks & Nannies, downtown art space, Adelaide SA


2020 The Partnershipping Project, curator: Pat Hoffie, Riddoch Art Gallery, Mount Gambier SA (touring to Bernie, Tas) (see: https://www.thepartnershippingproject.net.au/)
  Drastic Fabric, curator: Andrew Purvis, Adelaide Central School of Art Gallery, Adelaide SA
2019 Ramsay Art Prize 2019, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide SA
  Domestic Craft, curator: Nicole O’Loughlin, Rosny Barn, Hobart TAS
2018 Chaozhou International Embroidery Art Biennial, China
  Stitch Cult, artisan, Brisbane Qld
  DECADE, Hugo Michell Gallery, Adelaide SA
  WORD, Hugo Michell Gallery, Adelaide SA
  Psychache, Holy Rollers, Adelaide SA
  Making History, Hahndorf Academy, SA
2017 Wangaratta Textile Award, Wangaratta Gallery, Vic
  ATWAIR2016, Australian Tapestry Workshop, Melbourne Vic
  The Great Suffragist Dirigible, Adelaide Town Hall, Adelaide SA
  Craft Anonymous, curated by Polly Dance, touring regional SA
2016 Sappers and Shrapnel, curator: Lisa Slade, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide SA
  Heysen Prize for Landscape 2016, Hahndorf Academy, Hahndorf SA
  Craft Anonymous, curated by Polly Dance, touring regional SA
  Even Still, curated by Jo Kitto, Adelaide Town Hall, Adelaide SA
  Illusions of History, Hugo Michell Gallery, Adelaide SA
  Meta Ort, curator: Karen Paris, Unley Museum, Adelaide SA
  Fleurieu Art Prize, Samstag Museum of Art, Adelaide SA
  Guildhouse 50, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide SA
  Vote For Me, Format Gallery, curators: Powerhouse (Brigid Noone & Kate Power), Adelaide SA
  SPRING1883 (Hugo Michell Gallery), Melbourne Vic
  15 Artists 2016, Redcliffe City Art Gallery, Redcliffe, Qld
  Slipstitch, touring exhibition extended to NSW, curated by Belinda VonMengersen
2015 FELTpublic, FELTspace, Adelaide SA
  Skin Off Our Time, Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia, Adelaide SA
  Slipstitch, curated by Belinda VonMengersen, Ararat Regional Gallery (and touring) Vic
  Mythology of my Land, .M Contemporary, Woollahra NSW
  Craft Anonymous, curated by Polly Dance, Adelaide Town Hall, SA
  Life in Still, curated by Melinda Rankin, Murray Bridge Regional Gallery, SA
2014 135th Meridian East, curated by Andre Lawrence, aeaf, Adelaide SA
  The Extreme Climate of Nicholas Folland, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide SA
  Art House: the local ghost laboratory, curated by Brigid Noone, Stall 61, Adelaide Central Markets, Adelaide SA
  RendezVOODOO (art writing in response to work of Ben Leslie and Oscar Perry), Fontanelle Gallery, Adelaide SA
  Not just a pretty face, Adelaide Town Hall, curator Carollyn Kavanagh, Adelaide SA
2013 Life, Stitching, curators: Linda Marie Walker & Pam Hale, Riddoch Art Gallery, Mount Gambier SA
  Crystal Palace, curator: Lisa Harms, Flinders University Gallery, Adelaide SA
  Beyonce is a feminist, Fontanelle Gallery, Adelaide SA
  See Unseen, Adelaide Central Gallery, Adelaide SA
2012 End of the World, curator: Bigid Noone, Fontanelle Gallery, Adelaide SA
  Nadlewerk, Galerie Handwerk,Curator: Elisabeth Bosch, Munich, Germany
  Sensation Seekers, Fontanelle Gallery,Curators: Brigid Noone & Ben Leslie, Adelaide SA
  Objectified, SASA Gallery, curator: Karen Paris, Adelaide SA
  ...build me a city, AEAF, curated by Vivonne Thwaites, Adelaide SA
  Life, Stitching, Hawke Building (SALA), curators: Linda Marie Walker & Pam Hale, Adelaide SA
2011 Sensorial Loop, Tamworth Textile Triennial, curated by Patrick Snelling, Tamworth, NSW (+ touring)
  Imagining Interiors, curated by Wendy Walker, Jam Factory, Adelaide, SA
  Home Stories, Adelaide Central Gallery + Migration Museum, curated by VivonneThwaites, Adelaide SA
  Covet, Adelaide Central Gallery, Adelaide SA
2010 Moving Wounded (ongoing participatory project): http://littleweeds.conservatory.org.au/theMovingWounded.html
  Consumed, Adelaide Central Gallery, Adelaide SA
  Little Weeds, online (littleweeds.conservatory.org.au) + Peel Street exhibition space (with Format Festival) + Seedling Art Space, curated by Lisa Harms, Adelaide SA
2009 Nell Pearson, Sera Waters, Claude Jones & Beci Orpin, Edwina Corlette Gallery, Brisbane Qld
  Just Is, Max Dawn Gallery, curated by Bev Southcott, Adelaide SA
  Wangaratta Contemporary Textile Award, Wangaratta Vic
  artroom5, Adelaide SA
  Talente 2009, International Trade Fair, Munich, Germany
2007 Spirited Away, Adelaide Central Gallery, Adelaide, SA
  Quiet Hands, Gaff Gallery, curated by Rayleen Forrester, Port Adelaide SA
  Hedgemaze, Light Square Gallery, Adelaide SA
2001 Hatched, National Graduate Show, Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, Perth WA


2019 Selected for Ramsay Art Prize 2019, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide SA.
2018 Arts Projects for Individuals and Groups funding, Australia Council for the Arts
2018 Winner of The Hill Smith Gallery/UniSA Postgraduate Award, Helpmann Graduate Exhibition 2018.
2016 Winner of Heysen Prize for Landscape 2016
2016 Australian Tapestry Workshop residency, Melbourne
2016 Scholarship (fee waiver) to attend Textile Society of America Symposium, Savannah, Georgia
2015 Hawke EU Centre Travel Bursary: Mnemonics: Memory and Materialism workshop, King’s College, London
2014 NAVA Travel Bursary: Future/Forward, Sydney NSW
2013 New work – Mid-career, Australia Council for the Arts
2013 Project Grant, Arts SA
2010 Project & Development Grant, Arts SA
2005 Ruth Tuck Scholarship, South Australian Youth Arts Board


2018 Coleman, Sheridan, ‘Sera Waters unpicks the long stitches of Australian History ‘, Art Guide Australia
(online: https://artguide.com.au/sera-waters-unpicks-the-long-stitches-of-australian-history), October 2018.
2017 Kelly, Miriam, ‘Sera Waters: Domestic Arts’, Artlink, December
2017 Interview with Sarah Kanowski, ‘Sera Waters’ Ghostly Embroideries’, Friday 21 July 2017, Radio National
2017 McDonald, John, ‘Sappers and Shrapnel’, Sydney Morning Herald, January 13
2017 Llewellyn, Jane, ‘Sera Waters celebrates the Domestic Arts’, The Adelaide Review, July 21 2017
2016 Pitt, Elspeth, ‘Sappers & Shrapnel: Contemporary Art and Art of the Trenches, Artlink, November
2016 Purvis, Andrew, ‘Vote For Me’, Artlink, September
2016 de Boer, Janet, ‘A Curious Collision’, embroidery (UK), July/August 2016, pp. 28-33.
2015 Peers, Juliette, ‘Slipstitch’, Artlink, vol 35 no 2, June 2015.
2014 White, Sara, ‘Ghostscapes: Sera Waters’, Artlink, vol 34 no 2, June.
2013 Coleman, Sheridan, ‘Dark Portals: Sera Waters’, Art Monthly Australia, 264 October 2013, pp. 39-42.
2012 Neylon, John, 'Sparks in the Dark', The Adelaide Review, November
2011 Benson, Garry, ‘Sera Waters: Danger and Domesticity’, Textile Fibre Forum, Vol 30, Issue 3, no 103, pp. 32-35.
2011 Harms, Lisa, ‘Sera Waters’, FELTspace GOLD, pp. 116-119.
2011 Neylon, John, ‘Flights of Fancy’, The Adelaide Review, April
2011 Nunn, Louise, ‘The Birds up there’, The Advertiser, July 7
2010 Hart, Jenny, ‘Sera Waters’, Embroidery as Art blog, Jan 12, (http://embroideryasart.blogspot.com/)
2009 Hemmings, Dr Jessica, ‘The Dark Side’, embroidery (UK), vol. 60, Sept/Oct 2009, pp. 24-27.
2009 Dunt, Nerina, ‘Craft’n Disaster: Sera Waters’, Object, issue 59, October, p. 58.
2009 Adams, Jude, 'Three Artists- in the world: Anne Kay, Irmina Van Niele, Sera Waters', Artlink, vol 29, no 2.
2007 Zeplin, Dr Pamela, ‘Sera Waters: Crooks & Nannies’, Craft Culture online, Craft Victoria


2020 Invited speaker at This is not just a piece of cloth. Care-full entanglements A discussion,
London College of Fashion, University of the Arts, London UK
2017 Invited speaker at 250 Years of Embroidery symposium, Hand & Lock, Carriageworks, Sydney
2015 Mnemonics: Memory and Materialism workshop, King's College and University of Westminster, London.
2010-current Studio member of The Incinerator, Thebarton, SA
2005-current Committee Member on Adelaide Visual Arts Critic Circle
2005-current Lecturing and tutoring in Art History at Adelaide Central School of Art, University of Adelaide and University of South Australia
2013-2014 Visual arts representative, Project and Development Advisory Committee, Carclew Youth Arts Board
2011-2012 Contemporary Embroidery workshops, Art Gallery of South Australia
2004–current Arts writer for various local and national publications and catalogues
2010 AAANZ conference, presenter in Relational Craft session + Chair, Post Graduate Symposium
2007-2009 Peer Assessment Panel, Arts SA
2007 Key note speaker, SALA Festival, Art Gallery of South Australia
2005-2009 Studio member of Hedgemaze, Port Adelaide, SA
2005 Project Assistant, Tatsuo Miyajima residency, Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia


  The Cruthers Collection of Women’s Art: University of Western Australia
  Art Gallery of South Australia
  Ararat Regional Gallery
  Private Collections across Australia

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