WESTSIDER PROFILES – PAMELA MCFADYEN

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Pamela McFadyen always had a passion for textiles, learning sewing, knitting and crochet from her mother and grandmother, and has been a weaver for about 40 years. Growing up on a farm outside Swan Hill in the Mallee, with sheep on the property, wool was generally available. Pamela spent many hours observing the weavers and spinners, learning about different breeds of sheep, crimps, microns and colours.

“I studied with a Master Weaver who had trained in London, we were both passionate about Tribal rugs particularly, the countries they came from, and the people who wove them. It was through this person that doors opened up, I joined a weaving studio, exhibited, started to sell my work through my tutors shop and through the studio.”

Since moving to Yarraville in 1992 with husband Chris and new baby Zoe, Pamela has been a member of MREAM Studios, and has held exhibitions and taught weaving and felt making.

“It has been a fantastic opportunity to be part of the West’s creative community! Yarraville was affordable back then. Our house was the cheapest in Melbourne – a good house with lots of potential!”

So what connects Pamela to the inner west?

“We really liked the village aspect, with shopkeepers who had been there a long time. And we love the Greek community, Greece being a passion with both of us as spent 3 months long service leave there in 1988.”

As an artist, Pamela found many other like-minded artists and new friends, and feels Yarraville’s wonderful sense of community, but she has also witnessed many changes.

“Since moving here lots of houses have changed hands, many renovations, changes of shops in the village, and the introduction of new cafes and restaurants. My saving grace for coffee was Esther’s Shoe Shop Deli in Seddon, she had young children too, she was a great support in the early days of living here.”

For small joys, Pamela loves the friendly neighbourhoods, walking to the village, admiring people’s gardens, patting their dogs on the way. In her time the area has been greatly enhanced by the re-opening of the Sun Theatre, and loves being able to walk to a cinema.

And Pamela’s hopes for the future here?

“I want to see the area continue to be an inclusive, caring community, where people look out for each other.”

Sounds like a great idea!

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