Sunday, November 8, 2015

DECODED - Exploring Traditional Weaving in a contemporary context 

Northart Gallery
Norman King Square, Ernie Mays St, Auckland
Solo Exhibition 2 - 22 November

Artists talk 2pm, 22nd November

'Welcome to my world' 2015
Muka, fabric flowers, polyurethane coated cotton
2000 x 4000mm

Kaakahu Kakano 2015 (below)
Hemp fibre, korari (NZ flax flowers), imitation fur, muka (flax fibre)
620mm x 1020mm 

Monday, November 2, 2015

DECODED - Exploring Traditional Weaving in a contemporary context 
Northart Gallery
Norman King Square, Ernie Mays St, Auckland
2 - 22 November

Meet the artist 2pm 22nd November

Decoded is a collection of works made over the past two years in diverse locations such as Perth (Australia), Manhattan (New York), Auckland, Kerikeri and Kohukohu (Hokianga). 

On a practical level ‘decoding’ represents becoming an artisan, understanding the craft of weaving by hand.  It also represents human nature, the desire to work things out, to decipher and understand.   Patterns, symbols, knots and codes have been used to communicate messages for centuries as well as within nature and these are incorporated into the work as a way of exploring and expressing conceptual ideas.

From delicate, detailed weavings to large scale contemporary pieces, works retain the mauri/life essence of the natural fibres and the crafting process to create pieces that juxtapose nature and man, past and present, hand-crafted and mass produced and send a message to seek a balance between these extremes.  

MaterialsMuka (NZ flax fibre), Dried Harakeke (Phormium Tenax), 
copper, wood & glass beads
Dimensions:  150 x 160mm

Materials: Piupiu (Dried and Rolled Harakeke/NZ Flax), 
Muka (Harakeke fibre), Feathers, Wooden Beads, Stainless Steel
Dimensions: 450 (W) x 200 (H) x 40 (D) mm

Friday, October 30, 2015

World of Wearable Art 2015 - Aotearoa Section 
Now in its 28th year, the WOW Awards is a world-renowned competition for which designers create works of art to be worn on the human form. The competition culminates in the Awards Show, an extravagant theatrical event showcasing the finalists’ garments. New Show Directors Mike Mizrahi and Marie Adams will lead the creative production of this year’s three-week show season (24 September -11 October) in Wellington."

Cloak of Light, Michelle Mayn, New Zealand

Photo Credit: World of Wearable Art Ltd

"Imagine yourself surrounded by a protective white light".....

The ‘Cloak of Light’ was made to offer symbolic protection to the wearer and was inspired by the true story of Ruhia’s Cloak – a life spared’ which recalls a dramatic encounter between early European settlers and Māori in Wellington where Ruhia Pōrutu, a Māori woman of high status, throws her kaitaka (fine flax cloak) over an immigrant, a young orphan called Thomas McKenzie after he unknowingly commits tapu, thereby saving his life.  They went on to form a life-long friendship and when he died in 1911, the kaitaka was placed over his casket.

Follow this link for images of all the pieces in the WOW Aotearoa section

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

STRANDS: weaving a new fabric seeks to make weaving visible by bringing together a diverse group of hand-weavers and a sampling of their work. 

Objectspace, 8 Ponsonby Road
Saturday 22nd August to 26th September

Opening Friday 21st August, 6pm - all welcome...

Weavers will share their passion for weaving and its place in contemporary New Zealand craft practice including; Kohai Grace, Marta Katarzyna Buda, Premsagar Tyler, Soe Meh Nga, Christopher Duncan, Czarina Wilson, Molima [Molly] Pihigia, Louisa Humphry, Alison Frances, Karl Leonard, Patricia Bosshard-Browne, Rachel Long, Shona Tawhiao, Michelle Mayn.

Materials: Piupiu (Dried and Rolled Harakeke/NZ Flax), 
Muka (Harakeke fibre), Feathers, Wooden Beads, 
Wooden Bracelet Charms
Dimensions: 450 (W) x 200 (H) x 40 (D) mm

Inspired by Aztec feather work as seen in this work by Juan Bautista Cuiris, made of humming bird and parrot feathers.

Portrait of Christ
Between 1550 and 1580
Kunsthistorisches Museum

Friday, July 17, 2015

Code Gala - July 2015

a response to the poem 'tissue'
by Kelly Malone

'I cry most days viscose lines of streaming tissue'

From the original poem 
Every day I cry viscous tears of streaming lines

Streaming Tears…..
The scroll like weaving responds to both the black and white visual of the ‘morse code’ and the deciphered message of the poem.

To respond to the ‘black and white’ printed code the body of the work is woven from muka extracted from the Taapoto variety of NZ Flax/Harakeke, a variety that is favoured by Hawkes Bay Maori for it’s strong, shiny, white fibre.  Black muka threads follow the sequence of ‘dots and dashes’, creating a tactile braille like interpretation of the morse code that continues the distortion of words to another sense – no longer transmitted through sound but by touch. 

The hand-woven textile and small scale of the ‘garment’ is reminiscint of the miniature cloaks found in Peruvian funeral offerings, the black thread becomes not just a visual response to a black and white printed page but indicitve of the colour of grief and loss to create a miniature cloak of mourning.  

The black lines of ‘streaming tears’ runs along the pale white threads like water running down a pane of glass, ending in copper-beaded tear drops where the poem is now ‘de-coded’.

Materials: Muka (NZ flax fibre), Dried Harakeke (Phormium Tenax), copper, wood & glass beads
Dimensions:  150 x 160mm

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Tauira (Sampler) of Life - March 2015

Recipient of:  Edith Whiteman Award
HGA Small Expressions 2015 Exhibit 

Based on an annual calendar this work continues to explore a theme of work based around a schema, each monthly segment is filled with patterns and symbols, like those found on a daily planning calender, visually organising a set of experiences over a one year period.  

As these coloured threads are secured they begin to tint the white threads, until by the end of the weaving of they are filled with colour reflecting how our daily experiences filter through and fill/colour our lives.  

The unfinished edge is raw and unkotted to acknowledge this is not an ending but another beginning. 

Materials: NZ Flax Fibre (Muka)/Phormium Tenax, 
Tanekaha, Ruarekau, Indigo and Commercial Dye.
Dimensions: 320 (H) x 237 (W) x 7 (D) mm

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Recycled Rain Cape - March 2015

RUBBISH - the transformation of used and waste materials into contemporary art

Village Arts - Kohukohu
April 11th to May 14th 2015

A traditional Maori Rain Cape (Pake) was a garment made from materials at hand and designed to channel off rain. The garments were "made by attaching hundreds of leaf strips, called hukahuka, to a woven foundation."  Traditionally, when harvesting harakeke/NZ Flax there is very little waste and all parts of the plant are used.  The small amount of waste material that remains after preparing the fibre is mindfully returned to the land (whenua) to ensure the resource is cared for and available for future generations.

This modern interpretation of a Rain Cape is made from the virtually indestructible, everyday plastic bag and discarded computer wire that has been prepared into workable strips and then hand woven using single-pair weft-twining (whatu aho pātahi). Two horizontal threads  (aho) twist around each vertical thread (whenu). One aho passes in front of the whenu, the other behind.

The mindful approach to the use and disposal of resources has much relevance in today’s urban environment and my objective is to shows that any resource provided to us need not be considered ‘Rubbish’. 

Materials:  Plastic Bags, Computer Cable Wire
Dimensions: 370mm (H) x 1050mm (W at base) x 60mm (D) 

For further information on whatu - twining techniques visit Te Papa Tongawera

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Kaarure - Jan 2015

This piece was created after being shown the method to make kaarure tassels by Mandy Sunlight, a very experienced and talented weaver.  Kaarure are a "three ply tassel rolled in the S-direction, which causes them to try to untwist, used as decorative elements on korowai". This is interwoven with two layers of cylindrical, dried harakeke (NZ Flax) strands with the muka (flax fibre) exposed.  

Materials: Piupiu (Dried and Rolled Harakeke/NZ Flax), Muka (Harakeke fibre)
Polyurethane coated cotton & Paua Shell
Awhina Tamarapa (editor). Whatu Kaakahu : Maaori Cloaks. Te Papa Press 2011, p187.