GOLD was the theme of this year’s WAI (Westland Arts Inc) members’ exhibition held at the Carnegie Gallery, Hokitika Museum from 7 -20 April. This was in keeping with it being the 150th anniversary year of when the gold rush began in earnest in Westland and the town of Hokitika began in 1865.
The first piece I created for this was a wall hanging, Black Sand Gold #2 in harakeke. I dyed the whenu (weaving strips) black and gold began with a whiri (plait) at the top and shredded the bottom edge. This was woven at home.
The harakeke for the other two wall hangings was prepared at home and then woven while holidaying on our boat, Hangarua, in Queen Charlotte Sound, Marlborough Sounds. This was an inspiring environment to weave in.
The whenu were dyed a graduated gold for Golden Daze. They ended up looking a bit like the sedge, pingao.
Gold Ripples was woven from undyed harakeke but some of the blades were quite marked with a rust and this provided lovely different shades of natural gold when dried. I almost lost this piece. I had tied it to a rope on the boat’s cabin top to dry in the sun but obviously not well enough. A sudden gust of wind saw it being blown into the sea and only quick work from others on board saved it just before it went under the boat.