Jannie Fay Skyring (1932 – 2019)

Jannie Fay Skyring (1932 – 2019)

Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre is mourning the loss of our former member, advocate and friend, Fay Skyring.

Fay was a weaver who played a considerable role in the cultural development of our organisation, the ACT and the nation. She died on Sunday (August 11), at the age of 87. 

As a Craft ACT member, Fay exhibited in many exhibitions organised by Craft ACT. These included the Office Environment, which showcased the talents of local craftspeople and was intended to bring them to the notice of for the architects and interior designers of the then new Parliament House.

Fay was instrumental in supporting Craft ACT by helping to set up exhibitions and volunteering her services within the community in all manner of conditions. An early example of her dedication to our sector was that she hosted an early workshop (late 1970’s) in the foyer of Craft ACT’s prior residence in Watson, during the middle of winter, whilst the gallery was being built. Wind whistled through the building as she helped to host a warp dying workshop with a visiting artist from Japan.

Fay continued her community involvement by curating exhibitions of ikat weaving (the first in Australia) and was involved with Spinners and Weavers guilds throughout Australia. She also taught evening classes, first at Weston Creek and then Dickson Evening Colleges.

Fay sat on numerous Boards of governance including Craft ACT. Meredith Hinchcliffe, former Craft ACT Executive Director, remembers Fay’s significant contribution to our community: “Skyring practised her craft to a very high standard and inspired others to achieve their potential. She made a significant contribution to the development and recognition of weaving in Canberra and in Australia”, Meredith Hinchliffe writes for CityNews.

‘Our love, friendship and sympathy go to Fay’s many friends and family. We send our condolences to the entire craft and design community in Canberra and beyond, who share in this loss,’ said Rachael Coghlan, CEO and Artistic Director of Craft ACT.

A memorial service to celebrate Fay’s life and work will be held at Canberra Museum and Gallery, 176 London Circuit, Canberra on Friday, 6 September 2019, from 2 – 4pm.

Thanks to Meredith Hinchcliffe and Sharon Peoples for their assistance in preparing this article. Meredith’s full obituary is available online


Image: Fay Skyring, textile work from Decades and Diversity exhibition at Craft ACT in 2007.