Poster art has evolved significantly from the early posters first produced in Australia in the early 19th century that only featured text, to the posters in the The D'Oyley Show Collection that are characterised by bold designs and effective use of photographic and graphic screen print techniques. During the 1970s, political poster groups and alternative print workshops formed in many Australian cities. This collection is an important group of posters that shows the emerging feminist voice of the Womens Domestic Needlework Group through poster art.
The Domestic Needlework Collective was established in 1976 to share skills in crochet, lacemaking and weaving and to encourage women to work collectively. This series of ten posters was part of 'The D'Oyley Show' exhibition of historic and contemporary domestic fancy work held in 1979. This ground breaking exhibition travelled throughout Australia in particular to country areas where these crafts were still being practiced.
This collection of posters has special significance as they represent a unique group in Australia's social history that combined feminist activism with a commitment to raise the profile and credibility of domestic needlework as a form of artistic expression. Women's domestic needlework has long been undervalued as a form of artistic expression and it was the aim of the 'D'Oyley Show' to recognise and celebrate the creative and artistic achievements of Australian women, past and present. Many of the posters feature historic images that show the shared experience of contemporary women with their historic 'sisters'. The posters also exemplify how the decorative style of contemporary screen printing has effectively been engaged to highlight feminist issues.