Monday, February 9, 2009

current exhibition ...

Haha, I have bee so busy with my mum here and a new baby and two children starting school for the new year and a working husband, that I forgot to blog an exhibition that I am a part of. It opened at Pataka Art Gallery, Porirua for the next three weeks, "Off The Wall - Eco Prints to Art couture" is a collaborative event by local artists influenced by the work of friend and artist India Flint, Suzanne Tamaki and local Whitireia tutor Deb Donnelly. Deb features in the exhibition as do fellow textile artists Billie Mutton, Cleo Thorpe-Ngata, Olivia Giles and myself. I have blogged extensively of India's tireless work in this country and her eco-dyed processes in other posts. I also have to send out big ups to Pataka for supporting community artists like myself and giving us newies an opportunity to be involved in exhibitions. Secondly to Kylie, the amazing woman who can create the most amazing artistic displays even when given the most random of pieces. She makes my art look good!
"Kiri"
Silk, wool, cotton, hessian, tapa bark cloth, shells, mother of pearl, coconut shell - natural dyes from plants including harakeke and eucalyptus; felted, distorted, screen printed and stitched.
"Kiri" translated means "skin". New Zealand is a melting pot of cultures. Growing up in a minority meant I was always aware I was different purely because of my skin. I am hopeful that my childrens world is different from mine as a child, and that these days our differences are more acceptable and even celebrated in our modern world. This piece was created from pieces that were worked separately and yet merged into a single piece of work that flows as a whole proving that the sum is worth more than the individual parts that make it up. It was inspired by work with both India Flint and Suzanne Tamaki to whom I am very grateful for their mentoring and encouragement.

Also unveiled for the first time is my very own design of cloth jewellery, using hand-twined twisted silk remnants for the "chain" and natural dyed salvaged wool blankets (harakeke), dyed felted wool and mother of pearl buttons, repurposed island shell ornaments, and stitch. My love is complete when I think of my "textile beads" - bits of cloth embroidered with my favourite feather stitch. I love using raw materials and hand stitching. This combines all my favourite techniques. And what girl doesn't love jewellery? This is muted bling, but to me it is worth more than diamonds. The other day my husband waited patiently while I finished stitching my necklace for that day for me to wear to a special function. We both agreed it was more fun than looking at Michael Hill Jewellers any day (and perhaps buys me op-shop credit with my husband) and the end result is that I feel fantastic wearing something I made myself.

"Ko te maumahara whariki o te pepi"
Baby's memory blanket.

Silk, wool, cotton, linen - stitched, felted,

Having spent 9 and a bit months pregnant, I spent a lot of time on my own waiting for my baby. During that time I was drawn to the idea of creating a quilt for my babe but having never quilted, decided to 'give it a go' anyway. My kaupapa was to use what was available - salvaged scraps of natural fibres and secondly, to create something functional . The whole work was white-on-white and was finished several months ago. However the whole thing went into a pot this summer after the arrival of the baby and was dyed using harakeke / flax seed pods. As I stitched I was aware of how many memories were in the vintage cloths I was using. That I wasn't creating a new narrative, but rather writing a new chapter in a story that already existed.

"Ra Horoi"

"Washing Day"

Salvaged clothing - natural dyes, embroidery.

When I was a kid my grandmother had a "washing day", a "baking day", a "going to town day", etc. Having created garments for my own family using existing and salvaged clothing, and India's natural dye methods, my friend Cleo and I have unique and functional pieces in our family wardrobes. This collaborative project was such fun and embraced our own philosophy that art can be incorporated into everyday living by everyday people. That it can be both functional and beautiful, conceptual and loads of fun to create. I wish you could see Cleo's beautiful felted eucalyptus dyed embroidered slippers - I so want a pair. They are on my wishlist for this years 'make' list.

If you are in the area, the exhibition is running for approximately three weeks. And the pieces are for sale. Except of course for the clothes that came out of our wardrobe. Kia Ora!

5 comments:

twisted sister said...

What a cute little baby suit

mormar said...

everything is so amazing.
It is just so beautiful, i am in awe.

india said...

I'm so pleased you kept hold of the washing line idea...it looks beautiful - such a simple way of displaying an abundance without making it look crowded! am i making sense?
xx
india

imbi star said...

yo9u go girl!!! Looks wicked (like wooked as you say) - wonder how is the baby knuckles boy???
Sorry I missed ya on that sunday to lovely! I tried calling on saturday arvo/eve but must have missed ya! Oh well...i had lovely weekend in wellington anyway and too much excess baggage in the end (extra ($200!! - shit). So probably good that i didn't get there hey....i'll just have to move to the vicinty of welly wellington so that i can be closer and back in nz! I miss it all and seeing your pictures makes me think of it all again....me sad! And been such a slack ass blogger!
Will post more sooooon....
Love to you, miss all the love and it was so good to meet ya and spend such good quality time! I got show opening soon, will keep you posted....
xxx arohanui xxxximbixxxx

india said...

kia ora sister...
has that parcel found you yet? if it hasn't then the post to England is faster than that to Aotearoa - which doens't surprise me. Australia Post probably uses windsurfers to send stuff across the ditch
...and Imbi, you weren't alone in the excess baggage department..for once i even exceeded Q-club limits so it probably was just as well to avoid Trash Palace.
we need one here...
blessings
india