Saturday, 23 June 2007

Rebooting my blog!!

The last six months or so have been a bit of a creative desert because of one health problem after another! The one high spot was an incredible 3 weeks in New Zealand to celebrate my husband's retirement (he insists I add early!!). Came back feeling like a new woman and then fell getting off my exercise bike (don't laugh), hurt my back, and haven't been able to do a thing for weeks except read. It's still sore and my doctor has referred me for physiotherapy.
But at last, I am working again.
Let's start with some images from New Zealand. Firstly, this is the Maori Meeting House at the Treaty Grounds at Waitangi. They are very dark inside, and have a real sense of spirituality. All along the walls are ancestral carvings, and between them are tukutuku panels.

They were made using crossed laths, horizontal at the front and vertical at the back, held together be decorative stitching using strips of flax or grass. Two women worked together, one at the front of the panel, one at the back, and the strips of flax were "stitched" through the gaps between the laths to create the cross stitch patterns.

The patterns all have spiritual meanings.

In Te Papa, the National Museum of new Zealand in Wellington, there are some modern interpretations of tukutuku panels, using traditional techniques, but non-traditional colours. No photography allowed I'm afraid.

At the Art Gallery in Christchurch, we were lucky enough to see an exhibition of cloaks and baskets by contemporary Maori weavers/artists. The exhibition was called The Eternal Thread and has been to the US. It was really inspiring, particularly the cloaks, but once again no pictures I'm afraid.

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