Elizabeth Kozlowski visit: Dunedin, Wellington, Auckland May-June 2019


CTANZ is delighted to announce the upcoming visit of US textile practitioner and curator Elizabeth Kozlowski, who also edits the Surface Design Journal, the quarterly publication of the US-based Surface Design Association. Organised in conjunction with CTANZ, Elizabeth’s visit is being funded by Creative New Zealand  so she can engage with fibre and textile artists and curators here on local practice. The focus of her time here in late May-early June will be a series of lectures and workshops in Dunedin, Wellington and Auckland,  aimed at developing and expanding dialogue around contemporary craft practice across the New Zealand arts community, with a specific focus on textiles.Elizabeth will also visit textile artists in their studios. This project is an important opportunity for professional development of textile based creatives, involving as it does, dialogue around creative practice, exhibition and publication, here locally in New Zealand and with an eye to future international prospects.

The lectures are free and public so no booking is required. The generous input of our hosts mean the workshops are also fee, but these are limited to 20 places in each centre so will require booking.   The schedule of events is as follows:


  • Friday 24 May, 9am-3pm Dunedin Creative Spaces workshop at the Dunedin School of Art
  • Saturday 25 May, 3pmTextile and Privilege, open lecture, Dunedin Public Art Gallery


  • Thursday 30 May, 5.30pm Textile and Privilege lecture, Massey University, Wellington, Room 10A02, Theatrett (Ground floor, east side of Block 10 aka the Old Museum Building, Massey University. It’s accessible through Entrance D Buckle St, Mt Cook, Wellington.)
  • Saturday 1 June, 10am-12pm Creative Spaces workshop, The Dowse Free; light lunch provided. Bookings essential- registrations via Eventbrite.


  • Wednesday 5 June, 5-6pm Textile and Privilege public lecture, WH418, Auckland University of Technology, Wellesley Street,
  • Thursday 6 June, 1.30-4pm, Creative Spaces Workshop, WM601C, Auckland University of Technology (contact Mandy Smith to book)

The lecture Elizabeth is delivering in the three venues is Textile and privilege: Decolonizing institutional spaces and practices, in which she will share her professional practice as it relates to curatorial activism (a term coined by Maura Reilly) and the decolonization of museum spaces. She will also provide an overview of her most recent exhibition,  Domestication which utilizes the framework of traditional fiber-based techniques as sculptural explorations invested in the dismantling of historical markers of gender.

The Creative Spaces workshops will provide the opportunity for Elizabeth and 20 local contributors with expertise in relevant fields to workshop through important societal issues from a cross-disciplinary approach that includes anthropology, museum and curatorial studies, and community engagement. The goal is to generate new ideas and provide a pathway towards multiple perspectives on particular issues including the politics of research and representation from within both an academic and artistic institutional setting. This is an open, collaborative space where new knowledge is formed and shared. Because places are so limited, we will find a way of reporting back, possibly through Context later in the year.


UK-based Jessica Hemmings, a leading thinker in contemporary craft, advocates for writing that moves “back and forth” between knowledge of making and writing and which situates the object within a broader context. As both a maker and curator Elizabeth Kozlowski is in an ideal position to facilitate a ‘back and forth’ dialogue between writers, curators and practitioners in Aotearoa New Zealand at a time when the call to develop critical language relevant to craft is gaining considerable traction.  Her insight and role as editor of an international journal with a consolidated history in creative textiles makes her, in Professor Leoni Schmidt’s (of the Dunedin School of Art) words, “an excellent choice to lead this workshop series… able to foster fresh, and diverse making and writing relationships and allow re-imagined understandings of craft and art to be articulated”

For more information about Elizabeth and Surface Design, check out this profile from the Surface Design organisation:

Images supplied:

Installation view of “Material Domestication, 2019, Museum of Craft and Design, San Francisco, California, USA. Image courtesy of Dallis Willard

Surface Design Journal covers courtesy of Elizabeth Kozlowski

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