Annemieke Mein - A lifes work

Appreciating details of beauty has always been a strong personality trait of mine, whether that be obsessing over the curve of my handwriting skills to ensure I received my pen license, to noticing a perfectly pencilled lip out in the wild. So it comes as no surprise to me that my first memory of meeting Annemieke at the age of about 4 years old is filled with signature details to the Annemieke Mein we all know and love today. At the time, I knew there was something special about her because my mum and auntie would often speak of her in conversation but I didn’t really understand the whole textile artist concept then (because I was 4) but, what I do remember is this beautiful, calming, women with the most perfect princess hair I had ever seen. Of course, I am referencing her iconic braided hairstyle, something that I have always admired over the years and something that I am very excited to be discussing with the women herself. I trust you will enjoy our conversation in celebration of her upcoming exhibition A Life's Work - A Retrospective , where we discuss her personal style, inspirations and it wouldn't be a Night Babe conversation without the discussion of her nightly beauty routine.

1979 Annemieke Mein with mat dress and morass
Annemieke in 1979

What inspires your personal style
My Dutch heritage (e.g. note the artist Jan Vermeer’s painting of The Lace Maker in 1664). Many generations of women in my family have worn plaits at some stage. 

When did you start braiding your hair and what made you keep it as apart of your signature look?
At about 21 years of age wearing one braid down the back.
When I had children, I decided to pin the braids up out of the way of little hands. I liked it and so did the family, so that’s where they have stayed.
People don’t recognise me now without braids!
My grand daughters all have long hair and often braid it as well.

Do you have an evening routine and what does it look like - any beauty rituals that you have stuck to over the years - journal your creative thoughts? A nice cup of tea to ponder the day just gone?
Evening routine is a good hard brush of the hair, then tie it up in a ponytail and French hair clip.

What is it about our natural environment here in Gippsland that resonates so much with you? 
The immense diversity of habitats and flora and fauna within these habitats in Gippsland e.g. from snowy high plains to forests, grasslands, inland lakes, rivers, wetlands, and beaches.

Can you share with me where inspiration came from to create the Emperor Gum Moth artwork that feature on our pillowcase collaboration?
The Emperor Gum Moth sketch was drawn in 1982 after I saw my first Emperor Gum Moth emerge from its cocoon. It was an extraordinarily beautiful and emotional event. I’ve created many works around this glorious Australian moth.

Gum leaves feature in many of your pieces, can you share where residents of Sale may recognise the design of gum leaves printed onto our Silk Pillowcases?
Gum leaves with eaten-out holes are my signature work. These leaves were designed for the gateway into Sale Botanic Gardens and made out of steel. The gum leaves on the pillowcase are the ones for the left-hand side of the gateway.

What is it particularly about textiles that you find allows you to reflect the beauty of nature?
The visual and tactile aspects of fibres and fabric with their ability to mimic the real animal, insect, or plant visually. Working with textiles is much more challenging than drawing or painting.


I created Night Babe to deliver women a quality, Australian Made, Silk Pillowcase option. With all of the loved benefits of sleeping on Mulberry Silk - for smoother, softer skin and hair. So, to be able to collaborate with Annemieke Mein and have her illustrations printed onto my pillowcases is such an honour. The scale of her exhibition 'A Life's Work - A Retrospective' is phenomenal and I hope that if you have the opportunity to attend you take it. Her career spanning over 60 years is something to be celebrated and regardless of your choice of preferred art medium, you will be in awe of what she has created from the inspiration of our beautiful country.


Annemieke Mein: A Life's Work - A Retrospective runs from 2nd March - 26th May, 2024 from the Gippsland Art Gallery, 70 Foster St Sale.
Our two Annemieke Mein Silk Pillowcases will be available exclusively from the A.M Gift Store located within her exhibition. RRV Single Case $119 - Duo Deal $209* limited duo deals available, while stocks last.

Do you want to WIN your own NB x Annemieke Mein Silk Pillowcase?

Annemieke Mein Silk Pillowcase Designs