2019 Symposium

LOGO A-Common-Thread-red

common adjective usual; ordinary; widespread; familiar; frequent; easily obtained, not rare; shared by, coming from, or done by two or more people, groups, or things; of the most familiar type; belonging to or involving the whole of a community or the public at large.



CTANZ symposium 2019 poster

CTANZ SYMPOSIUM 2019 Programme

The Costume and Textile Association of New Zealand welcomes you to Nelson, to the 2019 Symposium, A COMMON THREAD, being hosted from 27 to 29 September, by the beautiful and historic Suter Art Gallery Te Aratoi o Whakatū.  This year The Suter celebrates 120 years of being open to the public.  The gallery’s name recognises Nelson’s second Anglican Bishop Andrew Suter (1830-1895) who had a vision for a “picture Gallery for the people of Nelson”.  The Bishop Suter Memorial Gallery, designed by Frederick de Jersey Clere, was built attached to the Matthew Campbell School.

Te Tau Ihu (the top of the South Island) has a long and rich history of Māori and European occupation.  Māori have been here since the 1300s, with the first recorded contact between Māori and Pākehā in 1642 when Dutch explorer Abel Tasman’s two ships sailed into Golden Bay.  Nelson, The New Zealand Company’s second settlement, was established in 1841.

The Nelson region was home to some of the earliest textile manufacturing industries in New Zealand.  From 1844 Thomas Blick was weaving woollen fabric and tanning leather in Brook Valley, not far from The Suter Gallery; around 1845 Mr Natrass and Mr Edwards established flax mills in Nelson, and more were being set up throughout the region; in 1846 hosiery was being manufactured; and an experimental silk industry was established by Thomas Batchelor between 1860 and 1870.  In the following century a cotton mill was to be built in Nelson however construction stopped when the deal collapsed, the half-completed mill became an automotive assembly plant in the mid-60s, and is now where you will find the National WOW Museum & Nelson Classic Car Collection.

Common threads

We have a great line up of presentations from around New Zealand, and from Australia.  Our opening speaker Yasmeen Jones-Chollet is passionate about an issue which affects us all.  In April she demonstrated in Nelson’s CBD for 16 hours a day for 8 days “in order to present a real time, tactile example of the lives that so many are being forced into, through our demand for fast fashion and our ignorance and/or apathy as to the story behind the production of each item”.

The Suter’s exhibition programme for September includes Jay Hutchinson’s textiles (https://thesuter.org.nz/exhibitions/2019/9/21/jay-hutchinson-the-archaeology-of-the-discarded-forgotten-and-thrown-away), the archaeology of the discarded, forgotten and thrown away, and a collaborative mixed media exhibition by Alexis Neal and Elke Finkenauer, Something to Remember (https://thesuter.org.nz/exhibitions/2019/6/15/alexis-neal-and-elke-finkenauer-something-to-remember).

Friday’s programme includes an exhibition floor talk with Suter’s Curator with refreshments included afterwards, while there’s non-programme time on Saturday and Sunday mornings to give you time to check out Nelson – its markets, retail and op shops.

On Sunday morning there are optional field trips to two of Nelson’s art and cultural attractions; Broadgreen Historic House, built in 1855 for General Merchant Mr Edmund Buxton and his family (http://www.theprow.org.nz/society/upstairs-downstairs), and the World of Wearable Art and Classic Car Museum (https://www.wowcars.co.nz/) which showcases two very distinct collections that collide in a celebration of design, innovation and wonder.

If you’re able to spend longer in Nelson there are one-day workshops by Maggy Johnstone, of New Zealand Textiles Experiences, on Thursday 26 and Monday 30 September:  Unconventional Materials  – Preused and Usual – Unleash your creativity and have fun, the shortened version! (https://www.nztextileexperiences.com/event/unconventional-textiles-preused-and-unusual)

Also of note is Areez Katki’s Bildungsroman at the Refinery Artspace: if you didn’t see this acclaimed work in Auckland, and won’t get to see it in Dunedin towards the end of the year, the symposium coincides with the last weekend of a short run in Nelson.

To register, please complete the form and return as per information supplied. Registrations received before 1 September will go in the draw for one of two $25 gift vouchers donated by Nelson craft supplies store Broomfields & Co.

CTANZ symposium 2019 registration offer

CTANZ SYMPOSIUM 2019 Registration Form

Programme (subject to change)

 Friday 27 September

8:00am                    Registration desk opens, the Suter Café will be open

9:00am                       Symposium opening

9:15am – 12:30pm   morning sessions – themes: the fashion worker, fast fashion and how to deal with all those “threads”; historical textiles in a modern world

12:30 – 1:30pm        lunch

1:30 – 5:00pm           afternoon sessions – themes: exhibitions inspired by the past

5:15 – 7:00pm          Join Suter’s Curator for a floor talk and tour of exhibitions, followed by refreshments.



Saturday 28 September

until midday            Time to explore the Nelson Market (opens at 8am), Nelson Provincial Museum, Founders Heritage Park, Op shops, etc

12.oopm– 1.oopm   CTANZ AGM

1:00 – 5:00pm          afternoon sessions – themes: Common Threads – craft to art; NZ fashion

from 6:30pm            Symposium Dinner at The Styx on Wakefield Quay (includes transport from The Suter, and a drink on arrival, bookings essential)


Sunday 29 September

Morning free             Nelson Sunday Market opens at 8am, or

9:30am – 1:00pm     Field Trips to WOW or Broadgreen Historic House (numbers limited), bookings essential

1:00 – 4:00pm          afternoon sessions – themes: a look into the past, case studies, weaving and knitting cultural threads

4:00pm                    Symposium closing


Symposium queries, please contact Paula: paula@thesuter.org.nz