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.



A few last minute notes from the Nelson symposium team.

Presenter Deb Donnelly will be exhibiting some of her work at the gallery over the weekend. The kasuri indigo hand loomed Moving Continents textiles provide a visual bridge for the life of 1950s Japanese immigration to NZ.

Meanwhile, two early registrants for Symposium 2019, Linda Warner and Grace Lai won the $25.00 Broomfields Vouchers, with thanks to Andrea Dell of Broomfields for her generosity.

Registrations have now closed, and the field trips are full. There are a few tickets available for the Symposium Dinner on Saturday night; please email ctanzsymposium19@gmail.com if you would like to go.

The updated programme can be found here, please note the earlier start time of 8:45am on Friday:

CTANZ 2019 schedule Sept

Thank you to all Nelson registrants for their commitment. It’s going to be a stimulating and enjoyable weekend; we look forward to seeing everyone at the Suter on Friday.



CTANZ symposium 2019 poster

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.

Common threads

We have a great line up of speakers, field trips and social events planned.

Presenters are from throughout New Zealand, and 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”.

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.

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).

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.

Schedule (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.

A little bit about Nelson

 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.

Have a question about the Symposium? Please contact Paula: paula@thesuter.org.nz