Wellington woven and wearable

Whakapapa by Corrinne Larkins, Kahu Waero by Adrienne Spratt, and kete.

Whakapapa by Corrinne Larkins, Kahu Waero by Adrienne Spratt, and kete.
Source: Office of the Clerk

If you’re anywhere near the Beehive over the next couple of days, there’s a couple of small exhibitions to check out at Parliament and the National Library. The exhibition on the first floor of Bowen House offers a monochrome Muka Pākē, woven muskets, and colourful taniwha among the diverse works of created by six members of the Raukura Weavers Collective. It’s only open 10am-3pm, Wednesday and Thursday until 12 November, so you have a few opportunities to see it. If you can’t make it, the information on Parliament’s website includes a link to the comprehensive catalogue: https://www.parliament.nz/en/get-involved/features/raukura-weavers-collective/

Closet of Curiosities, National Library of New Zealand, October-November 2020 Source: National Library

Across the road at the National Library, there’s been a short extension to Closet of Curiosities, five wearable art pieces by Queen Margaret College Year 13 Material Technology students, in response to different collections held by the library. These garments go back to the closet after 5 November, so you’ve got a couple of days for a close-up view of the work put into them.https://natlib.govt.nz/events/closet-of-curiosities-october-15-2020

Another time-limited opportunity in Wellington is this weekend’s Handmade for the Holidays pop-up of 19 workshops on Saturday 7 November, followed by a night craft market 5-8pm. This is Handmade’s return after a few year’s hiatus, and the workshops include kete, yarn, felt and jewellery options. For the list: http://handmadenz.co.nz/programme-2/

And one to add to the holiday list, as it’s on now until 31 January 2021: Costuming Katherine at the Katherine Mansfield House & Garden in Thorndon. The exhibition looks at how the character of Mansfield was dressed in two New Zealand productions, Bliss: The Beginning of Katherine Mansfield (2011) and Bloomsbury Women & the Wild Colonial Girl (2018). https://www.katherinemansfield.com/event/costuming-katherine

Posted in Artists, Classes, Craft, Education, Exhibitions, Libraries, Maori, Students, Theatre, Weaving, Wellington, Workshops | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Fashion forward

Doris de Pont ONZM with Moana mannequin: "I am immensely proud of our success in bringing what we wear, from the upmarket to the everyday, into the conversation about who we are and how we present ourselves to the world, and I am really looking forward to where fresh eyes and new leadership can take us."

The New Zealand Fashion Museum turned 10 this year, a milestone that was submerged with all the others as we’ve grappled with the disruptions caused by the pandemic. With NZFM being an online exhibition space, it’s been able to continue with uploading new content, particularly stories, and continuing its fashion tours in Auckland as circumstances have allowed. Although their planned celebrations were stymied, engagement with the online museum has grown.

The museum’s birthday turns out to be an occasion for looking forward as well as back. While a series of exhibitions and the ongoing website work have maintained its presence, founder Doris de Pont has recently announced that she’s moving sideways to make way for a new director to lead the museum into the next decade. As part of this process, the museum is running a major Boosted campaign to set it up for its future strategy. Last year’s Boosted target to buy the special mannequins for the Moana Currents exhibition was quickly met: this year, the campaign’s considerably more ambitious.

Doris talked to Karyn Hay on RNZ’s Lately about what’s happening with the museum, particularly this year and the broad outlines of its evolution. Congratulations to Doris and the team on their achievement in setting up and establishing this groundbreaking online collection – we look forward to seeing what comes next and wish them well with the fundraising, which runs until the end of the month.

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Have your say about cultural sector support

Some in the CTANZ community have been taking a professional and personal interest in the Government’s response to COVID-19’s effects on the creative sector. In case you’ve missed it (and you might very well have, thanks are due to The Big Idea’s Lowdown mailing for highlighting this), the Ministry for Culture and Heritage (MCH) has drafted an approach for three new cross-sector funds as part of the Arts and Culture COVID Recovery Programme: The Cultural Sector Capability Fund, the Creative Arts Recovery and Employment (CARE) Fund and the Cultural Sector Innovation Fund.

The consultation period on this is short, closing 5pm on Tuesday 22 September. Mark Amery’s Lowdown summary makes some very useful points, and the documents and feedback forms are here.

As Amery notes, this consultation is MCH rather than Creative New Zealand, but CNZ is also soliciting feedback on any experience of the organisation over the past year. If you’ve applied for grants or looked for information lately, this includes you, so Client Satisfaction Survey.

Among the things they’d like to know about are accessibility of web information, funding application portals and processes, quality of advice. It’s an anonymous survey, which closes Wednesday 30 September, 11pm.
Creative New Zealand client satisfaction survey

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Queen’s Birthday honours: congratulations to Maureen Lander


Wonderful to see leading fibre artist and longtime CTANZ member Dr Maureen Lander awarded MNZM in the Queen’s Birthday honours list.

LANDER, Dr Maureen Robin

For services to Māori art

Dr Maureen Lander is a leading exponent of raranga (weaving) and installation art.

Dr Lander began learning whatu kākahu (cloak-making) skills from Diggeress Te Kanawa in 1984 and started exhibiting her work in 1986. Her works have been shown in key exhibitions in New Zealand and overseas including ‘Pu Manawa’ at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa in 1993 and ‘Pasifika Styles’ in 2006 at the University of Cambridge’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Her exhibition ‘Flat-Pack Whakapapa’, organised by the Dowse Art Museum in 2017, is currently touring nationally. She was Senior Lecturer in Māori Material Culture at the University of Auckland’s Māori Studies Department and has continued to mentor aspiring Māori artists and kairaranga (weavers) after retiring from university lecturing in 2007. In 2002 Dr Lander gained a doctorate in Fine Arts from Auckland University, the first person of Māori descent to gain a doctorate in Fine Arts from a New Zealand university.

Posted in Artists, Awards, CTANZ people, Maori, Uncategorized | Tagged | 5 Comments

You’re getting mail!

The Costume & Textile Association of NZ has two major membership activities: an annual symposium and a journal twice a year. This year is obviously going to be different. We hope you’re all keeping healthy and cosy and there are definitely reports of sewing and other projects being undertaken.

Unsurprisingly, we’ve had to defer this year’s symposium until next year. With so much uncertainty around gatherings, even a few months further along, this was not a hard decision. The next symposium will still be in Auckland, with dates and venues to be advised later in 2020.

But Context is exactly where it should be – with editorial team Linda Tyler and Jennifer Matheson putting the finishing touches to another 100 or so pages of papers and reviews. At a time when we can’t get out to the world, this one brings the world to us, with stories about costumes and textile from Aotearoa, Samoa, Spain via France, Myanmar via Nelson, and the far northern hemisphere home of the Sámi.

We’re looking towards printing and mailing to members soon – so if you haven’t yet renewed your membership, there’s a small window left.

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Symposium 2020 – it’s not as late as you think

“Jackie O” printed textile by Joanna Campbell. Collection of Auckland Museum 2018.5.1, All Rights Reserved.

“Jackie O” printed textile by Joanna Campbell. Collection of Auckland Museum 2018.5.1, All Rights Reserved.

As you busy yourself with tying up the loose ends on your abstract for this year’s CTANZ symposium, Vision: Hindsight, Foresight, Insight, scheduled for Auckland at the end of July, some good news. Yes, they were due today, but out of the goodness of their hearts, the organising team have extended the deadline to next Monday, 16 March, instead. So, you have another few days to refine that great new idea you’ve had. The Auckland team look forward to receiving it.

Some more official stuff – have you joined or rejoined? Please pay your membership by the end of March. If you’re already a member, you know the drill: direct credit and let Bronwyn Simes know you’ve done so. If you’re new, drop Bronwyn a line about joining, she’ll be delighted to hear from you.


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Happy 2020

“Jackie O” printed textile by Joanna Campbell. Collection of Auckland Museum 2018.5.1, All Rights Reserved.

“Jackie O” printed textile by Joanna Campbell. Collection of Auckland Museum 2018.5.1, All Rights Reserved.

Welcome to another year. We hope you’ve all been able to enjoy relaxing time with family and friends, and members should have received their copies of the glorious summer issue of Context just before Christmas for their holiday reading.

This issue included three papers from the Nelson symposium: the 2020 symposium in Auckland will be earlier, 31 July – 2 August, and the call for papers is now open. You have a couple of months to scope out your perspective on 2020’s Vision: Hindsight, Foresight, Insight theme; abstracts are due in early March. Full details on the symposium page.

Also in the latest issue, reviews of several of many of the textile exhibitions from throughout 2019. If you’re in Wellington, or visiting, you can see Suffrage in Stitches at the Wellington Museum until early April. Other exhibitions around the country include The Pompoms at Christchurch’s CoCA gallery. Designers Julieanne Eason and Carl Pavletich of Shades Arcade have used more than 150 metres of crimson fabric for “an immersive installation made up of ten giant pompoms which dance and swirl to a choreographed routine” (until 2 February). The Dunedin textile community is looking forward to the opening on 10 January of Areez Katki’s much-lauded Bildungsroman, featuring embroideries drawn from exploration of his cultural heritage (Indian/Iranian/Zoroastrastrian). Areez will be in Dunedin for the opening weekend to present a talk on Saturday 11 January at 1pm, and a hands-on workshop 2-4pm (booking required).

Other  exhibitions still on through January in the North Island include Nomads, the exhibition at the Dowse featuring Zena Abbott and Emma Fitts. In Auckland, there’s jewellery: at Te Uru, Handshake 5, and at Objectspace, Elena Gee: World/Body/Myth. Objectspace is also currently exhbiting Ena Snuggles, a quilt created by Mark Braunius in collaboration with Brenda Ronowicz.

There’s more to come during the year, so we’ll keep you posted. Thanks to all of you who have let us know about other events and exhibitions during 2019 and keep the information coming.


Posted in Artists, Auckland, Christchurch, Context Magazine, Dunedin, Embroidery, Exhibitions, Lectures & Talks, Suffrage, Textiles, Wellington, Workshops | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

More talks about dressing, and art, and men

To round off the year, some more interesting talks in Dunedin and Wellington connected to Massey’s Millennial Masculinities conference (at the College of Creative Arts, 10-11 December). Keynote speakers Professor Christopher Breward and Dr Shaun Cole will speak at Te Papa and the Dunedin Public Art Gallery.

Thursday 12 December, 6.30-7.30pm, Soundings Theatre, Te Papa

Collecting & Exhibiting LGBTQI Fashion & Dress

Join Dr Shaun Cole, Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton, to celebrate and analyse the history of LGBTQI fashion representation in museums and galleries across the world. Enjoy a glass of bubbly after work and explore this fabulous world of fashion which is coming into the spotlight ever more.

Also on Thursday 12 December, 6.30-7.30pm, Dunedin Public Art Gallery

A History of Fashion in Art

Professor Christopher Breward, Director of Collection and Research, National Gallery of Scotland is detouring from Wellington to Dunedin to reflect on examples of fashion painting from the collection of the National Galleries of Scotland’s  representations of fabrics and clothing, their textures and social meanings.

Christopher will return to Wellington for one further Friends of Te Papa session:

Saturday 14 December, 11am-12pm, Rangimarie, L3, Te Papa 

History of the Suit

This lecture, based on Christopher’s recent celebrated book ‘The Suit: Form, Function & Style’ (Reaktion, 2017), unpicks the story of this most familiar ensemble, from its emergence in Western Europe and the Mughal Courts in the seventeenth-century to today.

The Dunedin lecture is free, the Wellington events are organised by Friends of Te Papa and presented in partnership with Te Papa and Massey University. More details, including ticketing for the Te Papa sessions, available through the links above.


Posted in Conference, Dunedin, Education, Fashion, Gender, History, Lectures & Talks, Men | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Crafting Aotearoa

tui apronEvery couple of decades, someone takes stock of craft/object art in Aotearoa New Zealand. There was Doreen Blumhardt and Brian Brake’s Craft New Zealand in 1982 and Helen Schamroth’s 100 New Zealand Craft Artists in 1998, both of which won national book awards. The latest in this line is the recently released Crafting Aotearoa, co-edited by Karl Chitham, Kolokesa U Māhina-Tuai and Damian Skinner, published by Te Papa Press. Unlike its predecessors, its temporal and geographical scope is wide, covering three centuries across the wider Moana / Pacific region. It almost goes without saying that this is a substantial and handsome work which will take some time for anyone to digest; it includes nearly 70 essays by dozens of experts. A significant tranche relate to textile crafts, and CTANZ members are among the many contributors: Stella Lange on school needlework, Natalie Smith on wearable art and Jane Groufsky on quilting, just for starters.

While the book itself will be consumed bite by bite, courtesy of Auckland Museum, there’s more, a selection of online essays as a sister project. Again featuring several CTANZ names, the six sections include  Textiles and Jewellery and adornment.  Among the topics here, Jane Groufsky offers some insight into one of her specialist subjects, bird-related textiles such as the tui apron above. Enjoy this little trove of gems!




Posted in Auckland, Books, Craft, CTANZ people, Embroidery, Jewellery, Maori, Pacific Islands, Textiles | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Looking ahead to Symposium 2020

A heads-up that next year’s symposium has a date – 31 July – 2 August; a place – Auckland University of Technology; and a theme – Vision: Hindsight, Foresight, Insight.

The symposium page has been updated http://costumeandtextile.co.nz/symposium-2/ so you can start envisaging what you might want to think about in advance of the call for papers, which will be coming soon. We’ll keep you posted.



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