PAIN CANOPY YEAST STEAK, Jess Johnson, Auckland

Alwaysy (detail) 2020, unique digital print on cotton with pieced fabric border, assorted textiles, thread, 1450 x 1400mm. Image: Jane Groufsky

On the Saturday before the latest Level 3 Covid announcement, Jess Johnson and Cynthia Johnson were able to celebrate the opening of Jess’ latest exhibition PAIN CANOPY YEAST STEAK at the newly relocated Ivan Anthony gallery in Grey Lynn. Among framed pen, acrylic and goache works by Jess are four new quilts created in collaboration with her mother, artist and veteran quiltmaker Cynthia.

Previous quilts that have come out of this partnership were first shown at Auckland Art Fair in 2018. These initial works were formed from a large panel of Jess’ art, digitally printed on cotton and finished into a quilt with a pieced border by Cynthia. In the latest works shown at Ivan Anthony, Cynthia has more freely incorporated Jess’ printed fabric into her contemporary patchwork designs which combine geometric repetition with occasional sinuous applique. Patchwork quilts are a fitting medium for echoing the rhythmic style of Jess’ painting and drawing, and give a tactile element with their added depth and softness.

Ditto Blank and Spice Agony at Ivan Anthony Gallery Image: Jane Groufsky

Fortunately Aucklanders are now back at Level 2 and can once again see the show, on at Ivan Anthony at 564 Great North Road until 9 March , or see the works online:

Text and images Jane Groufsky

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Caroline McQuarrie, The New Sun – Wellington

They gave you a list, 2021. Linen and cotton thread (framed). 375 x 375mm.
Jhana Millers Gallery, Wellington – 11 February – 13 March 2021 – Opening 5.30pm, Thursday 11 February – Artist talk with Heather Galbraith, Saturday 6 March, 2pm

Caroline McQuarrie’s primary artistic interest is the concept of home, wherever it’s located. A senior lecturer in photography at Whiti o Rehua School of Art, College of Creative Arts, Massey University, her practice combines photography and embroidery. This latest exhibition, The New Sun “juxtaposes the empirical finds of land trace with the more speculative imaginings of what life might with the more speculative imaginings of what life might have entailed for the women living with, or alongside, the male miners within early settler-colonial Aotearoa.”

Tailings, 2016. Digital photographic print from film scan. (framed). 830 x 830mm

The photographs of sites of former mining activity were taken when McQuarrie was regularly travelling around Aotearoa between 2013 and 2016. While many sites are marked as historic by signs or plaques, others are “hiding in plain sight. Landforms shaped by 19th century mining for gold and quartz. These undulations, channels and (now rarely) structures are what tangibly remain from the brutal process of extraction of minerals from the land, that was fuelled by so many aspirations for prosperity. Brutal for the ecology of the land and brutal for the miners engaged in such perilous and back-breaking activity.”

His labour is gouged into the land, 2021. Linen and cotton thread (framed). 375 x 375mm.

The counterpoint is the linen textiles, hand-embroidered texts written by the artist to “consider the female experiences on linen. The texts in these works, written by the artist, consider the female experience, ‘filling in’ for records that are very thin on the ground. These works seek to offer a new way into thinking about this period of our history, to achieve a richer understanding of the legacies and traces threading between then and now, there and here.”

Extracts taken from the full Essay by Heather Galbraith: The New Sun: new photographic and textile work by Caroline McQuarrie.  Images supplied by Caroline McQuarrie

The photographs in this exhibition have been made on the rohe of Ngāti Waewae, Kati Mahaki ki Makaawhio and Kati Huirapa ki Puketeraki (Ngāi Tahu) and Ngāti Hauā (Waikato Tainui).

Jhana Millers website:

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More exhibitions

Photo courtesy of Aratoi, Wairarapa Museum of Art and History

A postscript to last week’s exhibition posting: there’s more to visit in the lower North Island. At Masterton’s Aratoi, Wairarapa Museum of Art and History, Whakatau Miromiro showcases Terri Te Tau’s embroidery on linen. The work “was created in conversation with Māori and Pacifika scientists who shared whakataukī around particular species they work with and the relationships revealed through those whakataukī”.  It’s on until 21 March, and the gallery promises more textile shows for later in the year: we’ll keep you updated.

Two masks: Photo: CDK Baughen

Further up the road, Viv Davy’s From Out of the Blue Gallery in Opunake offers Dreaming of the Future, Selected works by New Zealand members of The Surface Design Association. The works on show include Stella Lange’s masks (as seen in the latest Context) as well as others by artists from Taranaki, Rotorua and Dunedin. Although it’s only on until 15 February, the gallery website links to an online version, and will include online artist talks and studio visits.

(If anyone who gets to see these would like to review the exhibition for Context, please let us know.)

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Summer viewing

The holiday preview is late this year, but there are textile and dress exhibitions to be found from one end of the country to the other this summer. Starting with Michele Beevors in Invercargill. Yes, those giant skeletal animals on the right are textile: knitted, in fact. Traded is one of the opening exhibitions at He Waka Tuia, , the partnership of the Southland Museum and Art Gallery and the Invercargill Public Art Gallery which has been established since the closure of the Southland Museum. This imposing work by Dunedin-based Beevors will be on display until March.

Moving northwards, at the Christchurch Art Gallery through to the end of February, textile artist Emma Fitts is part of Touching Sight, an exhibition of new work by three local artists. Over the water, at the Dowse, Creating Potential showcases Veranoa Hetet’s weaving of and for past and future. Across to Pataka, where Yuki Kihara merges her cultural traditions of Sāmoan siapo and Japanese kimono in (Sāmoa no uta) A Song About Sāmoa.

Tivaevae gown, Karen Walker and Kūki ‘Airani Creative Māmās, led by Aitutaki-born Tukua Turia

Finally, back in Auckland, everyone’s been talking about Toi Tū Toi Ora at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki. This exhibition’s many highlights include work by Maureen Lander, both on her own and in collaboration with Mata Aho. And the New Zealand Fashion Museum’s Moana Currents: Dressing Aotearoa Now is having another run, at
Māngere Arts Centre – Ngā Tohu o Uenuku.

Aside from Moana Currents, which finishes on 12 February, most of these exhibitions are on until 28 February. And Toi Tū Toi Ora runs until May – which means an opportunity to see it for those travelling to Auckland for the CTANZ symposium at the end of April. Enjoy your summer, inside and out, and keep us posted of any other exhibitions of interest coming up during 2021.

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2021: looking forward

It’s time to wish all CTANZ members and followers a happy new year. Despite the somewhat bumpy start, there’s still much to look forward to in 2021, including this year’s CTANZ symposium in Auckland, Friday 30 April – Sunday 2 May. Proceedings begin on Friday at 9.45am, with the symposium dinner on Friday night, and finish on Sunday around 3.45pm, in time for various flights out of Auckland. Details of the programme will be unveiled before too long, so keep an eye on the symposium page which has details of how you can register.

The symposium committee initially conceived of a theme of Vision for the 2020 event, envisaging papers which would consider the different interpretations of the act of seeing, reflecting, imagining, manifesting. Textiles are inherently visual objects, with stories and histories to tell, and lessons about past and future.

With the developments of 2020, this theme turns out to have been both prescient and somewhat ironic. The global pandemic has given people a sense of “living through history” –we are aware, now more than ever, of how those who come after us will read our lives through the material culture we leave behind. We interact with textiles at all levels of society, from the humble protest banner to high fashion – so what better medium through which to understand these histories? The delay to 2021 notwithstanding, symposium attendees can expect an exciting line-up of talks on topics relating to our theme, covering visionary fashion retailers, prolific collectors, and the intersection of convention with innovation. And of course the usual stimulating conversations with other textile and dress enthusiasts.

Meanwhile, Context arrived in CTANZ letterboxes just before Christmas with over 100 pages of articles and reviews, many of them featuring textile work created during last year’s lockdown. Thanks to all contributors and especially to the editorial team of Linda Tyler and Jennifer Matheson. Context comes with a reminder that subs are now due, and paid-up members receive a discount on the symposium registration as well as two issues of the journal each year. If you’re not a member and would like to join, check our membership page.

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Wellington woven and wearable

Whakapapa by Corrinne Larkins, Kahu Waero by Adrienne Spratt, and kete.

Whakapapa by Corrinne Larkins, Kahu Waero by Adrienne Spratt, and kete.
Source: Office of the Clerk

If you’re anywhere near the Beehive over the next couple of days, there’s a couple of small exhibitions to check out at Parliament and the National Library. The exhibition on the first floor of Bowen House offers a monochrome Muka Pākē, woven muskets, and colourful taniwha among the diverse works of created by six members of the Raukura Weavers Collective. It’s only open 10am-3pm, Wednesday and Thursday until 12 November, so you have a few opportunities to see it. If you can’t make it, the information on Parliament’s website includes a link to the comprehensive catalogue:

Closet of Curiosities, National Library of New Zealand, October-November 2020 Source: National Library

Across the road at the National Library, there’s been a short extension to Closet of Curiosities, five wearable art pieces by Queen Margaret College Year 13 Material Technology students, in response to different collections held by the library. These garments go back to the closet after 5 November, so you’ve got a couple of days for a close-up view of the work put into them.

Another time-limited opportunity in Wellington is this weekend’s Handmade for the Holidays pop-up of 19 workshops on Saturday 7 November, followed by a night craft market 5-8pm. This is Handmade’s return after a few year’s hiatus, and the workshops include kete, yarn, felt and jewellery options. For the list:

And one to add to the holiday list, as it’s on now until 31 January 2021: Costuming Katherine at the Katherine Mansfield House & Garden in Thorndon. The exhibition looks at how the character of Mansfield was dressed in two New Zealand productions, Bliss: The Beginning of Katherine Mansfield (2011) and Bloomsbury Women & the Wild Colonial Girl (2018).

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Fashion forward

Doris de Pont ONZM with Moana mannequin: "I am immensely proud of our success in bringing what we wear, from the upmarket to the everyday, into the conversation about who we are and how we present ourselves to the world, and I am really looking forward to where fresh eyes and new leadership can take us."

The New Zealand Fashion Museum turned 10 this year, a milestone that was submerged with all the others as we’ve grappled with the disruptions caused by the pandemic. With NZFM being an online exhibition space, it’s been able to continue with uploading new content, particularly stories, and continuing its fashion tours in Auckland as circumstances have allowed. Although their planned celebrations were stymied, engagement with the online museum has grown.

The museum’s birthday turns out to be an occasion for looking forward as well as back. While a series of exhibitions and the ongoing website work have maintained its presence, founder Doris de Pont has recently announced that she’s moving sideways to make way for a new director to lead the museum into the next decade. As part of this process, the museum is running a major Boosted campaign to set it up for its future strategy. Last year’s Boosted target to buy the special mannequins for the Moana Currents exhibition was quickly met: this year, the campaign’s considerably more ambitious.

Doris talked to Karyn Hay on RNZ’s Lately about what’s happening with the museum, particularly this year and the broad outlines of its evolution. Congratulations to Doris and the team on their achievement in setting up and establishing this groundbreaking online collection – we look forward to seeing what comes next and wish them well with the fundraising, which runs until the end of the month.

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Have your say about cultural sector support

Some in the CTANZ community have been taking a professional and personal interest in the Government’s response to COVID-19’s effects on the creative sector. In case you’ve missed it (and you might very well have, thanks are due to The Big Idea’s Lowdown mailing for highlighting this), the Ministry for Culture and Heritage (MCH) has drafted an approach for three new cross-sector funds as part of the Arts and Culture COVID Recovery Programme: The Cultural Sector Capability Fund, the Creative Arts Recovery and Employment (CARE) Fund and the Cultural Sector Innovation Fund.

The consultation period on this is short, closing 5pm on Tuesday 22 September. Mark Amery’s Lowdown summary makes some very useful points, and the documents and feedback forms are here.

As Amery notes, this consultation is MCH rather than Creative New Zealand, but CNZ is also soliciting feedback on any experience of the organisation over the past year. If you’ve applied for grants or looked for information lately, this includes you, so Client Satisfaction Survey.

Among the things they’d like to know about are accessibility of web information, funding application portals and processes, quality of advice. It’s an anonymous survey, which closes Wednesday 30 September, 11pm.
Creative New Zealand client satisfaction survey

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Queen’s Birthday honours: congratulations to Maureen Lander


Wonderful to see leading fibre artist and longtime CTANZ member Dr Maureen Lander awarded MNZM in the Queen’s Birthday honours list.

LANDER, Dr Maureen Robin

For services to Māori art

Dr Maureen Lander is a leading exponent of raranga (weaving) and installation art.

Dr Lander began learning whatu kākahu (cloak-making) skills from Diggeress Te Kanawa in 1984 and started exhibiting her work in 1986. Her works have been shown in key exhibitions in New Zealand and overseas including ‘Pu Manawa’ at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa in 1993 and ‘Pasifika Styles’ in 2006 at the University of Cambridge’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Her exhibition ‘Flat-Pack Whakapapa’, organised by the Dowse Art Museum in 2017, is currently touring nationally. She was Senior Lecturer in Māori Material Culture at the University of Auckland’s Māori Studies Department and has continued to mentor aspiring Māori artists and kairaranga (weavers) after retiring from university lecturing in 2007. In 2002 Dr Lander gained a doctorate in Fine Arts from Auckland University, the first person of Māori descent to gain a doctorate in Fine Arts from a New Zealand university.

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You’re getting mail!

The Costume & Textile Association of NZ has two major membership activities: an annual symposium and a journal twice a year. This year is obviously going to be different. We hope you’re all keeping healthy and cosy and there are definitely reports of sewing and other projects being undertaken.

Unsurprisingly, we’ve had to defer this year’s symposium until next year. With so much uncertainty around gatherings, even a few months further along, this was not a hard decision. The next symposium will still be in Auckland, with dates and venues to be advised later in 2020.

But Context is exactly where it should be – with editorial team Linda Tyler and Jennifer Matheson putting the finishing touches to another 100 or so pages of papers and reviews. At a time when we can’t get out to the world, this one brings the world to us, with stories about costumes and textile from Aotearoa, Samoa, Spain via France, Myanmar via Nelson, and the far northern hemisphere home of the Sámi.

We’re looking towards printing and mailing to members soon – so if you haven’t yet renewed your membership, there’s a small window left.

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