Sunday, November 15, 2015


BOY AT PLAY WITH BOATS - a reference to our cousins....and ourselves.


When I first saw this canvas I was struck by the power the boy with stick wielded. There was an uncertainty of time and place. Was it 1920's Ireland or 1960's N.Z.?  There was a high possibility I could have seen this child just yesterday.

This found object is an early circa 2000 collaborative work by two Elam Arts graduates whose names are easily identified on the reverse side of the canvas. The fact that the artists had been open to shared input was an important consideration when I approached the concept of adding another layer to the work.

By altering the original, this work investigates change, and confronts how moral attitudes often champion resistance to said change.

How does it make one feel to know that the status quo has been changed, possibly violated even?

Should the additions be removed, leaving scars and imperfections that are not seen unless you look very closely to the fabric of the canvas. The status quo seemingly restored.

Does acceptance of the altered state make the previous less important or relevant?

This work invites the viewer to consider how a change of circumstances may impact on our lives demonstrated through the figure with the stick in hand. Boy At Play With Boats suggests a reaction to an imposed and imagined threat, a previously unoccupied space is now occupied, thus forcing the viewer to interpret the figure in its new setting.


Tuesday, November 10, 2015


Hand spun muka from harakeke (N.Z. flax plant). This wall hanging is one of an ongoing series I am working on. The main cord of cotton strip and linen is wrapped in a thick string to create a smooth even surface to wrap the next layer of hand spun muka fibre which has been plied with cotton sewing thread. The black stripes are hand spun silk and cotton yarn. 

Large shards of pounamu (N.Z. greenstone) have been lashed with a finer muka fibre. This was particularly challenging as I had never done it before, and the shape of the shards made things quite complex. 

Hand made paper was made using a shaped cut out leaf frame sitting flush on top of the deckle mesh. These were covered in a plastic film on one side and sprayed with clear film varnish on the front viewed surface. This ensured the paper was protected long term from marks and stains insects may leave on the work.

Feathers were securely wrapped together with plied cotton/muka fibre and tied to the main cord.


When hung for exhibition the work came to life with the shadows giving emphasis to shape and form. Once hanging, the gallery ceiling and floor clearance space at top and bottom of the necklace was well balanced, emphasising the large proportion of the finished piece. Satisfying to know it was sold and off to live in a new inner-city apartment space. 


Preliminary lay-out of work on the studio floor to assess the balance of size, shapes, spacing and placement of details. Pounamu pieces have yet to be added, however at this early stage, playing with the parts by moving them and spacing them etc. can still give an idea on how they will work with each other once final construction begins.


Sketch book ideas. It is always a good idea to capture moments of inspiration as they occur. Try to put your thoughts down on paper before you decide to go ahead with an idea you want to build an artwork on. Sometimes these can sit there for months before you actually get around to making use of them, if at all. 
Sometimes I will find rough drawings, or a string of words and ideas from old sketchbooks that finally evolve into new works. Some will end up contributing to a new direction in a particular medium I have been working with for a long time. My paper making continues to inspire me, ideas for shapes made as single sheets of paper


Tapestry Weavings By Stephenie Collin


I hope you find Warped Art & Design both interesting and inspiring, and that it will encourage anyone working with fibre to investigate and experiment further within their chosen field.

The basic loom, which is my tool of trade, has remained technologically unchanged. This aspect appeals to me as I weave contemporary images on a machine of such simple and ancient construction.

And if the loom be silenced,
then needles, threads and fingers
have plenty more to say.

About Me

My photo
Waiuku, Auckland, New Zealand
I am an artist, weaver, gardener, mother and grandmother, home food gatherer, political sceptic, modest future eater, and much much more.