Another bumper year in textiles begins

A clutch of textile exhibitions throughout the country in the first quarter of 2024.

Looking back, 2023 features upwards of 30 exhibitions locally that featured dress, textiles, either as the focus or as part of a larger concept. The signs so far are for more of the same in 2024, and CTANZ members are well represented in the offerings so far.

Caroline McQuarrie, Woven Sampler 2, 2024, image supplied by artist.

Previous exhibition recaps noted that some exhibitions were running through to this year. But there’s still plenty of turnover. A couple of smaller exhibitions are closing soon. Among them, Caroline McQuarrie’s latest exhibition at Jhana Millers gallery in Wellington until 9 March. This latest exhibition, How deep into the earth we sink, a response to the time spent at the Gullies Arts Residency in Rangitīkei over winter 2023 is another suite of the finely made, thoughtful and beautiful work we’ve come to expect from this artist.

In Auckland, the first Masterworks group show for the year, Wide View, also ends 9 March, and includes textile work by Tui Emma Gillies & Sulieti Fieme’a Burrows, Jay Hutchinson, Cora-Allan Lafaiki-Twiss, Neke Moa, Jude Te Punga Nelson, and May Trubuhovich. As always, you can check out the catalogue online.

Down and across in Opunake, From Out of the Blue Gallery’s year has started with a group exhibition by the Stellar Quilters of Sustainable Creativity – Sustaining The Art of Quilt Making, showing the works of nine quilters who have been working together and supporting each other for two decades. After this closes on 11 March, the gallery will host a solo show by Jeanette Verster. Here I Am But Am I Here showcases Jeanette’s work in paper, cloth and thread, opening 14 March.

Back east to Gisborne, celebrating Pride at Tairawhiti Museum with Fab Drag until 24 March. The exhibition highlights show gowns from the 43 year performing career of drag entertainer, The Divine Joanne Neilson.

Te Manawa has also come to the textile party, with Boro – timeworn textiles of Japan, gathered by artist Pip Steel. This is a significant collection of Japanese garments preserved using boro stitching and mending techniques and handed down the generations as treasures.

Pataka contribution over the next few months is a double. First up, the recently opened Paraikete Threads considers the blanket in Te Ao Maori, with work by Jeanine Clarkin, Noa Blanket Co and Mataaho Collective. From 15 March to the end of April, there’s also Hono Aho – Connecting Lines. This collaboration between artists Tiki Coveny, Yon Yi Sohn, Moonhee Han, and Eun Jung Jang explores the synergy between Māori and Korean cultural heritage in Aotearoa New Zealand through embroidery, painting and latticework

Also opening in March (16 March to 19 May), at Objectspace in Auckland, Esther Stewart’s I was moving too fast to see, a large-scale architectural installation, presents Melbourne’s The Emely Baker Centre in textile at 1:2 scale. Objectspace will also be showing jewellery by Alan Preston and its courtyard plinth for the duration is Workshop6’s Common Element, an installation of more than 500 copper rings.

Finally: it’s official. Many of us within the national textile community have been looking forward to the announcement of Margery Blackman: Weaving, Life, a joint venture between Dunedin Public Art Gallery and Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum. This survey of Margery Blackman’s life work opens in Dunedin on 18 May and there will of course be much more information about this exhibition to come.

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