Category Archives: Harakeke Lace

UK & Ireland Exhibition

New Zealand Contemporary Textile Artists is an exhibition organised by Alysn Midgelow-Marsden and Arts Council Nelson showcasing the work of 15 NZ textile and fibre artists. It is part of the Knitting & Stitching Show which took place in London in October, is currently running in Dublin and will move to Harrogate, England later this month.

Kereru (NZ wood Pigeon), Tui (parsonbird), kokako
Kereru (NZ wood Pigeon), Tui (parsonbird), kokako

As part of my Manu Series I made three birds specially for this exhibition. All three birds are endemic to New Zealand and fall prey to introduced mammalian pests.

Raranga (Māori plaited weaving) and bobbin lace combine to form these sculptural pieces in which colour and pattern are inspired by the plumage and calls of the birds. The work also reflects the intricate weave of relationships in an ecosystem.

Volunteering at an ecological reserve, Sanctuary Mountain, Maungatautari, has brought me into closer contact with native birds and I was excited to see translocated Kokako released on the mountain recently. Their presence there for the first time in 30 years was marked by cultural a welcome and I was honoured to have my first woven Kokako play a part.

Kokako 2 (blue-wattled crow)
Kokako 2 (blue-wattled crow)

Kokako are rare forest birds with striking blue wattles, blue-grey plumage and a haunting song.

Kereru 2 (NZ wood pigeon)
Kereru 2 (NZ wood pigeon)

Kereru are relatively silent, large birds uttering the occasional coo but with a noisy wing-beat. They have a white breast, iridescent green and bronze head and back and orange-pink beak and feet.

Tui (parsonbird)
Tui (parsonbird)

Tui are relatively common iconic New Zealand birds with a melodic song interspersed with harsh clicks. With a distinctive white tuft on the throat, their black feathers are overlaid by an iridescent sheen.

Photos of the London exhibition can be seen on Alysn’s blog and here is one from Dublin showing the birds.

NZ Contemporary Textile Artists, Dublin (Photo Alysn Midgelow-Marsden
NZ Contemporary Textile Artists, Dublin (Photo Alysn Midgelow-Marsden)

 

‘Lace-leaves’ emerge

Cultures Interwoven 2010
Cultures Interwoven 2010

 

My ‘lace-leaf’ idea emerged during a course at the University of Waikato in 2008. A couple of years later I developed the idea and made ‘Cultures Interwoven’ which was selected for the Love Lace exhibition in the Powerhouse Museum (Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences), Sydney. Click here to read about it.

Lace-leaf close-up
Lace-leaf close-up

Manu Series (birds)

From the ‘lace-leaf’ idea I have  developed a Manu series in which colours and patterns are inspired by New Z ealand native birds, many of which are threatened species. The leaf tips with attached muka are divided into narrow strips and woven using raranga techniques while the muka is woven into bobbin lace. The resulting sculptural form suggests fleeting glimpses of the bird and snatches of its call. The work also reflects the intricate weave of relationships in an ecosystem and the understanding that different cultures attach different values to individual species and the places in which they live.

‘Birds’ at  ArtsPost Galleries, Hamilton, New Zealand

Solo Exhibition 2015

Kokako
Kokako (blue-wattled crow)

 

Tieke (saddleback)
Tieke (saddleback)

 

Kotara (sacred kingfisher)
Kotara (sacred kingfisher)

 

Kereru (wood pigeon)
Kereru (wood pigeon)
Kakapo (night parrot)
Kakapo (night parrot)