no tears

The year 2020 was a year I'll never forget. I have neglected my blog because I just did not know how to put my experiences into words, so I poured all my thoughts and feelings into my art.

'no tears' by Rita Summers

As a result, I probably had my most productive year ever! One of the pieces I completed  - 'no tears' - is the focus of this blog post, and it expresses much of what I've had simmering in my heart and mind for all those months.

'no tears' by Rita Summers, detail 1

I decided to enter it in an art competition, so the moment finally came to make an attempt to verbalise things.

'no tears' by Rita Summers, detail 5

Artist Statement:

What started as an experiment in colour and composition became something very meaningful for me when I was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive cancer in July 2020. Having determined to be as positive as I could during my operation and subsequent radiation treatment, I did not cry (although I came close a couple of times) when my entire reproductive system was removed. I said goodbye to it and thanked God for the source which birthed my children. I now can feel only gratitude that I have been granted a freprieve. The buried cloth I incorporated for the background became even more significant after facing down what could have been a death sentence. I found courage I did not know I had, and stitch by stitch, I recovered. With an excellent prognosis, I am again free to pursue my art and my passion into the future!

'no tears' by Rita Summers, detail 2

Artist Bio:

As a designer, artist and passionate upcycler, my underlying philosophy is to create products and source materials as ethically as I can. I find and reinvent vintage and preloved clothing, fabrics and other materials with natural dyes and deconstruction techniques, allowing them to inspire my work. Materials for eco dyeing are mostly foraged from our own property, where I can manage the trees and plants respectfully. My business is based in northeastern Tasmania, Australia; this is where I display and sell my work, host exhibitions, and run workshops.

I am also a qualified teacher, with a Bachelor of Education, Art major (distinction) and a Diploma of Art Craft Design/Textiles. I opened my gallery/studio in St Marys in 2003, and feel passionate about recycling and zero waste. This informs all my designs and inspiration.

'no tears' by Rita Summers, detail 3

Along with a 1-page CV, I managed to get it done and sent a few hours before the deadline. Now I have to wait until April to find out if my entry has been accepted! [Postscript: ‘no tears’ was not accepted for this particular exhibition but I was successful in my application for the ‘Minds do Matter’ exhibition later in the year. To find out more, click here.]

'no tear' by Rita Summers, detail 5


  • I was moved to tears when I read the explanation. Very evocative piece of eco art. ‘No Tears’ will certainly be remembered by me – for its stitching, honesty, gratitude, recycling & zero waste. May you continue to express yourself in art, stitch & eco dyed materials.

  • Hi Frankie – thanks so much for your comment! I’m not sure how to set up signup/blog notifications in Shopify; I will investigate … yes I’m back to 90-95% health which is very encouraging 💕😊

    Rita Summers
  • Rita! I haven’t read your blog in a while (is there a way to sign up so I automatically get your new posts?) so was thrilled to learn that this posting had a positive ending! I love No Tears and cannot imagine it not being accepted for wherever you entered it.

    Franki Kohler

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