An international keynote speaker; plenaries featuring Marsden-funded research into pre-colonial textiles and choices that took us round the world; an exhibition, workshops and tours and a delicious conference dinner – 2016’s Nature Now was the usual whirlwind of ideas and conversation, colour, texture and technique that we expect of a CTANZ symposium.
We began by admiring Massey University’s lovely arts building and the work of half a dozen members in the exhibition alongside. Proceedings began with Elaine Yan Ling Ng explaining her varied work at her Hong Kong Fabrick Lab. Elaine’s talk of her inspiration in nature led to nature-inspired couture, to Alexander McQueen, to Marsden research on the use of kuri skin in Maori cloaks, the first of many wonderfully intuitive segues in sessions. After post-lunch presentations came opportunities for up-close and hands-on encounters with Massey work. The dozen of us who went to Holly McQuillan’s zero waste workshop came away with a top, a coat and a pair of pants (sure, they’re paper, and would barely fit a Barbie, but we made them, ok?), and itching to follow up with patterns from the Make/Use website.
Back at Massey the next morning, more illumination on Maori textile technology, and breakouts on textile traditions of other countries. The AGM elected a new president, and we finished off with final sessions that covered inspiration, art and culture, while many carried onto specially convened Te Papa tours.
The mix of peer-reviewed academic papers and less formal explorations of personal passions keeps standards high and lively, while workshops, tours and exhibitions appeal to the more tactile side of the C&T equation. Special mention is due to the programming by the conference team of Claire Regnault, Deb Cumming, Pip Harrison and Sue Prescott, which perfectly connected related papers, Lisa Munnelly’s elegant exhibition curation, and Angela Kilford’s smooth event management.Thank you all for another wonderful event.
- Next year’s symposium will be in Hamilton 19-20 May 2017. Start thinking about your responses to the theme Fibre Connecting People ahead of the formal call for papers, coming soon.
- At the AGM we agreed to branch out on our social media, and we now have a twitter account for you to follow https://twitter.com/DressAddress – thanks Jane for setting this up.