January has whizzed past and many of us are back at the day job, but it’s still summer and there’s still time to catch a few of the summer seasonal shows. Starting overhead, in Auckland, it’s the last week of the Masterworks Raumati/ Summer Salon (until 28 January) exhibition, featuring a range of media including textiles, among them Jane Groufsky’s glorious handpainted cushions, and embroidery by May Trubohovich, Alice Alva and Alison Leauanae. For those of us outside Auckland, you can admire the work through the Salon’s online catalogue.
There’s quite a bit happening in the Wairarapa-Wellington area. Masterton’s Aratoi gallery is hosting two textile exhibitions that end 12 February. Ngahere – The Bush of Aotearoa is an exhibition of more than 45 artworks presented by the Professional Weavers Network of NZ Inc. The weavers have explored aspects of native bush and bush experiences across a wide range of techniques and interpretations, including hand woven textured and gauze fabrics, tapestries, floor rugs and cushions. Alongside this, the gallery is showing Land Girl, Leah Craven’s juxtaposition of the traditional wool industry with modern fibres and techniques, abstract forms and a non-representative colour palette. https://www.aratoi.org.nz/
Also nearing the end of its time at the Dowse is Wharenui Harikoa, closing 19 February, Lissy Robinson-Cole and Rudi Robinson’s fluoro crochet installation has travelled from Auckland ahead of a Matariki launch this year, and a subsequent national tour to share the delights of the ‘House of Joy’.
The big (monumental, in fact) news in Wellington is Te Papa Tongarewa’s Mataaho Collective: Te Puni Aroaro, which opened in late 2022 and will run for most of 2023. Mataaho don’t think small, and these six installations include their largest ever, created especially for this showing at Te Papa. The other works on display include Kiko Moana, here seen in Aotearoa for the first time. Get a feel for the scale of the new work at https://www.tepapa.govt.nz/visit/exhibitions/toi-art/mataaho-collective-te-puni-aroaro and read a bit more about the exhibition as a whole here https://mch.govt.nz/mi/node/10219
You can see a more modest Mataaho installation, Tīkawe, in the foyer of the Christchurch Art Gallery: https://christchurchartgallery.org.nz/exhibitions/mata-aho-collective. Tikawe is about looking up and to the light; through in the Brett Graham exhibition Tai Moana Tai Tangata there’s a very different – but similarly monumental – textile work on display that will have you looking down into the darkness. Among the large scale sculptures and video works in the exhibition, Purutapu Pōuriuri (Black Shroud) carves an 18000 x 3000 mm velvet and damask pathway that represents the emblems of the British regiments that fought in the New Zealand Wars, with textures of mourning Victoriana. Tai Moana Tai Tangata closes in Christchurch on 19 February. You can read about this magnificent piece on Graham’s website: http://www.brettgraham.co.nz/brett-graham-purutapu-pouriuri.html but see it if you get the chance.
Further south still, Alexandra’s Central Stories Museum and Art Gallery is winding up its summer exhibition and programme. They take their wool seriously in Central, highlighting it with the annual WoolOn Creative Fashion Awards (entries now open for the 2023 event); now the local gallery has been displaying some highlights of past competitions. The Cromwell Craft Group is also holding classes for children and adults until 27 January. https://centralstories.com/woolon-creative-fashion-exhibition/.
Not a bad start to the year. Among things to look forward to, May’s CTANZ symposium, 21st birthday version, will have an accompanying exhibition. We’re getting very close to releasing more information and registrations, so keep an eye out for details. Happy new year from CTANZ and we look forward to seeing a bunch of new and familiar faces in Oamaru.