Lockhart’s Doris Golder is known for her incredible wool art, but this recognition was taken a step further on Monday when she was awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM).
The 91-year-old was surprised yet thrilled by the recognition.
“I’m glad people appreciate looking at them (her wool art),” she said.
Speaking from Woodhaven, the aged care facility in Lockhart, Mrs Golder said the wool portraits were “like her children” because she spent so much time on them.
She completed more than 30 artworks, each one taking up to five months to finish.
She taught herself the unique skill after hearing about someone doing it.
When creating the pieces Mrs Golder would sit at a large table surrounded by piles of wool of all different colours.
The only part of the portrait which is glued is the white background, the picture itself simply sits against it, held down by the glass.
“To finish them took the four capital Ps,” Mrs Golder said with a smile.
“Patience, persistence, perseverance and prayer.”
She would create grids on the background before adding the portrait which is how she kept it to scale and allowed so much detail into the work.
“It was a challenge,” Mrs Golder said.
“It took a lot of time to get it perfect so that people could recognise who it was immediately.”
While creating a portrait she ensured it looked just like the person right down to the fine detail.
“People had to be exactly like them - eyes, wrinkles, everything,” she said.
“I really concentrated on what I was doing with love.”
The most extensive display of her work is located at the Doris Golder Gallery in the Greens Gunyah Museum in Lockhart.
Her nomination was for service to visual arts, in particular her impressive wool portraiture.
While her OAM nomination was for her “service to the visual arts, particularly to wool portraiture”, Mrs Golder has also been an active member of the Lockhart community.
Over the years she has been a member of the Lockhart and District Historical Society, several roles in the Country Women's Association, a Red Cross volunteer and a volunteer at Woodhaven.
Even when she first moved into Woodhaven as a resident Mrs Golder would sew for other residents.