I created some felted works as a tribute to my father for the Left Bank Gallery members exhibition – Puanga Matariki – in Greymouth 25 June – 24 July 2021.
My entries in this exhibition were quite a departure from my recent work.
Here is my artist statement that accompanied the works.
These felted works (a wall hanging “Owen 1986″ and three vessels Father #1, #2, #3) are a tribute to my father, Owen Neutze (1925-2014). Dad worked in shearing sheds and was very knowledgeable about wool. He had access to good fleeces and took up spinning. However he never got to spin all the fleeces he prepared. I inherited many boxes of his unspun wool along with his spinning wheel. I catalogued the wool when I got it some time ago but have not used any since 2013 when I wove a floor rug as a wedding present for my son.
Last weekend I attended a Creative Fibre retreat at Ōkārito. Just before I left home, I quickly grabbed a box of ‘Merino Blk Carded” in case I wanted to do some felting. After observing for a day, on Sunday I was encouraged to felt a small sample. I loved how it turned out as well as feeling a very strong connection to my dad. I knew immediately what I wanted to do for this exhibition. Dad had flick carded this unwashed fleece, sorted it by colour and placed it between layers newspaper dated January and February 1986. Thirty five years later I have turned it into a wall hanging and three vessels.