The Raukura Weavers Collective features woven artworks at an exhibition at Parliament’s Bowen House in Wellington.
The artists include kaiako (teachers) and graduates of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa’s Maunga Kura Toi programme in Papaiōea (Palmerston North).
The collective formed last year with the aim of showcasing ngā mahi ā te whare pora (the work within the house of weaving) by creating beautiful artworks made using harakeke (flax) and muka (fibre from the harakeke).
Te Wānanga o Aotearoa kaiako Adrienne Spratt said the exhibition features works informed by customary practices and techniques through to contemporary pieces.
“One of our graduates wove muskets from muka during her final year of the degree and has expanded on this theme. She has woven another two muskets one from a woollen blanket and another with chicken wishbones woven into the muka.”
“Most of the works have been made with harakeke or muka fibre from the harakeke. From the bright and colourful commercial dyed artworks to the subtle pieces dyed with natural plant materials, every piece is unique.”
Ms Spratt said the collective applied to Bowen House before the end of last year to exhibit there, a requirement was that a member of parliament was to “sponsor” the application.
“Our original MP became unavailable due to the extension of the election and requirements to campaign at the time of the opening, we managed to get Andrew Little who agreed to step in, between COVID-19 and the change of dates it was a challenging time to put it all together.”
Ms Spratt said it was a nervous time for the artists who wouldn’t have been able to exhibit if New Zealand remained at COVID-19 alert level 2 or higher.
“We were lucky it did come down to level 1 and it was able to go ahead. It’s just unfortunate that parliament is not sitting as is normal when the exhibits are held – due to campaigning.”
The Raukura Weaving Collective artworks are for sale.
The exhibition, which runs until November 12, is open to the public on Wednesdays and Thursdays between 10am and 3pm.