Curated to Push Boundaries

A few months ago I was excited to be approached by one of my favourite artisan fibre dyers, Kate Mahoney of Heavenly Wools to be a part of an exhibition that she was curating.  Kate is a fibre artist in her own right, and her curated exhibition "The Cutting Edge: Freeing Textiles" is "a glimpse into the varied and eclectic world of very different artists from all over New Zealand currently working in the textile arena  Drawn from diverse practices, the works show a breadth of interest and technique that questions the boundaries of the traditional view of textiles."

My first thought was that I had to send down some of my Geologically inspired series. The Christchurch region is still putting itself back together after a series of devastating earthquakes. Experiences and emotions, for many, are still very raw. I hoped that my artworks “Kaikoura” and “Sediments’ Story” would be a healing reminder that, although there are tremendous and unpredictable forces at work in the very ground beneath our feet, there is also great wonder and a fascinating story.

 “Kaikoura” and “Sediments’ Story” hanging together in curated exhibition The Cutting Edge: Freeing Textiles.

“Kaikoura” and “Sediments’ Story” hanging together in curated exhibition The Cutting Edge: Freeing Textiles.

I was excited to be able to head down to Arts in Oxford, near Christchurch for the opening of The Cutting Edge. It was an honour to see my two pieces hanging in some very auspicious textile art company - I wasn’t authorised to share images of the exhibition myself, but you can check it out at The Arts in Oxford Facebook page.

Arts in Oxford is a beautiful gallery and I was blown away by the fact that it is entirely (and very professionally) run by a group of passionate volunteers. Speaking with a couple of volunteers who helped to install the exhibition, I learned that they were initially uncomfortable and non-plussed with the angle at which “Kaikoura” is hung. I’m so glad they felt the tension I’d intended in the angles. Just as Kaikoura itself was fractured, tilted, forcibly moved. 

I had a fantastic weekend in an absolutely beautiful part of New Zealand and also the privilege of visiting Kate at her awesome converted church in Oxford. A lot of the fibre that I use in my artworks is hand dyed by Kate and it was wonderful to see where she works. Did I take any photos? No. I was completely caught up in enjoying the moment first hand!!