EDGE was the title of WAI (Westland Arts Inc) members’ exhibition this year at the Carnegie Gallery, Hokitika Museum in April. Leading up to the exhibition we had a discussion about edge dynamics in permaculture and I could see lots of potential for creating art works in harakeke using some of these ideas. Here is a statement that accompanied the eight works I had entered.
Edges in Harakeke
I have been working with harakeke (New Zealand Flax – phormium tenax) for about 12 years. I love the natural colours it dries to and the patterns that can arise from using both the shiny and dull sides of the blades as well as ‘imperfections’. It dyes readily and sometimes I use it dyed as in the pieces ‘Water’s Edge’ and ‘Day’s End’.
When working with harakeke as in any weaving/plaiting/raranga/twining, you are always faced with decisions about what to do at the edges. In many pieces for this exhibition, I have chosen to leaves some of the edges raw or ‘unfinished’ while others have plaited edges. Freshly woven harakeke is quite flexible and by shaping it and letting it dry, wavy or convoluted edges can be achieved as in Amoeba and Upfolded.
I was pleased to sell 4 works and also gain a commission for weaving a kete in dyed harakeke.