Around Aotearoa in March

There seems to be no end to the number of textile and dress exhibitions around at the moment. The biggies – Quant, Eden Hore – are winding down but there’s also a lot that’s in the small /perfectly formed basket during March, not counting the Threads festival, which is a story in itself (coming soon). Although most exhibition spaces are still opening, there have been constraints on staffing and travel which means that some of these won’t get the foot traffic they deserve. So here’s a look at some of the other, get-in-quick textile / style shows that will make you smile.

There might be time to get to Whanganui’s Serjeant Art Gallery, Annie Mackenzie’s post-Tylee Residency exhibition, is running Genuine Article 12 February – 22 May. The Tylee residency has been running since 1986, and Granity-based Mackenzie was one of the 2019 residents responding to their surroundings. Her work during the residency features new weaving works inspired by the paintings of Edith Collier and Joanna Margaret Paul, and the Whanganui Woollen Mills. Collier and Paul both depicted textiles in their painting; Genuine Article displays Mackenzie’s textiles alongside the work it’s responding to. The Serjeant collection was one inspiration, the woollen mills another, and through Whanganui Regional Museum, Mackenzie researched the history of what had once been New Zealand’s biggest such mill, which had closed in 1995. The exhibition includes archival photographs of plant and from the mill’s catalogues.

Annie Mackenzie at Tylee Cottage. Image supplied

Shorter run exhibitions are also currently on in Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland. In Dunedin until 18 March, Olga Gallery offers ​B-Sides, Rarities and Treasures from the Dunedin ​Public Art Gallery Car Park, a collection of Jay Hutchinson’s trademark fastidious embroidered versions of litter and graffiti. In Christchurch, the Physics Room’s new show is Kāpuia ngā aho 單絲不綫, 12 March – 30 April. Wai Ching Chan and Tessa Ma’auga ‘remake the four pillars of heaven using harakeke, silk, manila rope, wool, mop string, mulberry paper and pearls’.

Wellingtonians and visitors have until the end of March to get to Enjoy for Hanna Shim’s Wishing you well, large scale soft sculptures, which was featured in February’s RNZ Nine to Noon arts roundup as a source of cheer. RNZ has also done its bit for the latest New Zealand Fashion Museum’s latest exhibition (10 – 27 March 2022, The Pavilions Britomart, Auckland Arts Festival), with Doris de Pont talking to Kim Hill about how fashion is also a verb, as shown in to fashion a series of full size portraits by award-winning Samoan/New Zealand photographer Edith Amituanai. (The images and accompanying videos are also available on the NZFM website.)

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