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It is almost impossible to imagine a world without weaving and yet for most of us it is invisible. This earliest of man made technologies has all but disappeared from our consciousness as we take for granted the fabric of our everyday lives: the sheets we sleep between, the upholstery we sit on and the clothes on our backs, all created by the process of interlacing vertical and horizontal threads into a coherent material.
STRANDS: weaving a new fabric seeks to make weaving visible by bringing together a diverse group of hand-weavers and a sampling of their work. While machinery has taken over the production of the cloth of our everyday lives making it cheap and plentiful the artisans included in this exhibition strive to make something that machines can not. Each has their own unique practice but all have in common strategies to adapt this heritage skill for contemporary application creating pieces that are relevant, useful, visually appealing and desirable.
On loom hand-weaving is represented in this exhibition by garment makers such as the very experience Alison Francis, Burmese weaver Soh Meh Nga and emerging talent, Christopher Duncan. Homeware is given new value by maker Marta Buda while decorative accessories are the domain of Louisa Humphry and Rachel Long with her “livelihood” necklaces. Traditional off loom weaving practices commonly seen in the Pacific are also given a contemporary interpretation in raranga woven garments from Shona Tawhiao and baskets woven from recycled plastic by Molly Pihigia. Cloaks, shawls and wraps are found in all weaving traditions and are given modern iterations by Kohai Grace’s whatu piece Tipu Rua, Premsagar Tyler crepe weave wrap and Patricia Bosshard-Browne’s checked shawl.
Saturday 22 August 11 – 4 pm: Action Day with on and off loom weaving demonstrations and participation