Through the Mists of Time
First Prize Winner
Buda Contemporary Textiles Award & Exhibition 2014
The patterns and transparency of my ‘lace-leaves’ weave stories of cultural viewpoints, cooperation and contrasts. ‘Through the Mists of Time’ is a sculptural work in which gradually transforming patterns represent legends, a feature of all cultures, their core meaning transmitted through time while details of their telling change. Here it is suggested that comparisons and contrasts are not solely between two cultures but can also touch various points in time of a single culture. The boat-shaped horizontal ‘lace-leaves’ suggest water and the carrying of knowledge. The pumice stone connects with the land and its volcanic beginnings.
Cultures Interwoven 2: Changing Perspectives
2014 Nelson City Council National Award Winner
Changing Threads Contemporary Fibre Art Awards & Exhibition
Nelson, New Zealand
While we may never fully comprehend the meanings and views held by those of other cultures, recognising the validity of those views enhances our understanding of our own culture and broadens our perspectives. ‘Cultures Interwoven 2: Changing Perspectives’ illustrates on a number of levels this receptive attitude to the meeting of cultures. Four lace-leaves with different, but related, patterns are mounted vertically either side of an acrylic panel. From various points of view the lace designs in this three-dimensional work interact to create deeper textures or separate to show their individual qualities. Dark strands of fibre contrast with light-filled spaces. The lace-leaves effectively re-form two harakeke leaves (back to back) rising above a stone base which provides both stability and connection with the land.
Love Lace Exhibition 2011 – 2013
Powerhouse Museum, Sydney
In Māori culture harakeke is traditionally associated with the family, the ancestors and the land and weaving is not simply a craft but is integral to the spiritual values of the people. Respect is given to the material from before the first leaf is harvested to the finished weaving. I wanted my work to emphasise the raw material, acknowledging the significance of the plant to Māori culture, rather than simply turning the fibres into ‘European’ lace. As a European I couldn’t use Māori symbolism to respect the cultural connections but I could allow the harakeke to speak for itself by keeping part of the leaf whole so the origin of the fibre is obvious. ‘Cultures Interwoven’ consists of five ‘lace-leaves’ suspended one above the other by muka plaits. Each lace-leaf is made from half a leaf of harakeke, the fibres emerging from the leaf tip being made into bobbin lace. The plait and stones, which keep the panels hanging straight, were inspired by a performance by Atamira Māori Dance Theatre where the dancers’ repetitive, rhythmic movements plaited together the strands of a rope attached to a large anchor stone.