Christchurch Artwork Gallery’s new set up options 530 meters of hand-woven harakeke

The artwork features 530 meters of woven harakeke or linen threads.


The paintings options 530 meters of woven harakeke or linen threads.

An artwork collective of 4 Maori girls spent months harvesting, processing and weaving strands of harakeke, or flax, into 530 meters of webbing for a brand new set up on the Christchurch Artwork Gallery.

Braided harakeke descend from the skylights and throughout the gallery lobby in geometric patterns as a part of a brand new work referred to as Tīkawe by the Mata Aho Collective.

Gallery curator Melanie Oliver mentioned the collective, which received the distinguished Walters Prize final 12 months and was named an Arts Basis Laureate earlier this month, makes a speciality of large-scale artworks that use fibers and textiles.

Oliver mentioned the work took about 18 months to finish. Flax was collected in city environments resembling parking tons and suburban yards.

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Erena Baker, Sarah Hudson, Bridget Reweti and Terri Te Tau spent months weaving together harakeke for the new artwork.


Erena Baker, Sarah Hudson, Bridget Reweti and Terri Te Tau spent months weaving collectively harakeke for the brand new paintings.

The 4 members of the collective – Erena Baker, Sarah Hudson, Bridget Reweti and Terri Te Tau – spent months, partly in isolation, getting ready and weaving the flax into lengths of fibre.

“All the pieces was executed by hand,” she mentioned.

“Their method is that they’ve 4 brains and eight fingers.”

The art collective needed several months to create the woven linen.


The artwork collective wanted a number of months to create the woven linen.

Oliver mentioned the paintings was impressed by kawe, which have been braided lengths of flax utilized by Maori to hold heavy masses.

“Maori used kawe to hold every little thing from kete to stones, supplies and even – utilizing a extra specialised type often known as pīkau – infants.”

Earlier than the collective began work, Oliver took them to see woven harakeke on the Canterbury Museum, the Okains Bay Museum and the Rene Orchiston Assortment at Manaaki Whenua Landcare Analysis.

“It made them take into consideration how folks would have carried pounamu throughout the Alps.”

Lengths of braided linen flow from the skylights at the top of the Christchurch Art Gallery foyer.


Lengths of braided linen movement from the skylights on the high of the Christchurch Artwork Gallery lobby.

That is the primary time the collective has used harakeke. In earlier artworks they used tarps, mink blankets and nets. The work was acquired for the gallery by the WA Sutton Belief and will likely be on show till the top of subsequent 12 months.

“It transforms our lobby,” Oliver mentioned.

“[Their artworks] it at all times takes up a whole lot of house, which could be very intentional

“They’re claiming house for Maori girls on this gallery.”

The Mata Aho collective created He Toka Tū Moana/She's a Rock for the 23rd Sydney Biennale.


The Mata Aho collective created He Toka Tū Moana/She’s a Rock for the twenty third Sydney Biennale.

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