Posts categorized as Textiles

Wearable of the Week #2

Wild Walker Studio Hero-01

Models in full war paint and extravagant hairstyles strutted their stuff through clouds of dry ice in time to pulsating music… showing different garments including masks, hats and sunglasses, as well as more orthodox attire.                                                                                                                        Peter Gibbs, The New Zealand Listener The above quote comes from a review of the first ever WearbableArt™ Awards… Read more »

‘Wearable of the Week’ # 1

Isabelle by Lorene Ireland, USA, 200?. Photography by

On 24 August, 2013 The WOW Factor, which celebrates 25 years of the WearableArt™ Awards, opened to the public. The exhibition features over 25 fantastic garments from the award’s history, and for the next 25 weeks I am going to endeavour to post a ‘Wearable of the Week’. ‘The Wearables’ is an affectionate short hand… Read more »

Lecture: Arpilleras: Evolution and Revolution

Olla común en una población/Soup kitchen in a barrio
Chilean Arpillera, Taller Fundación Missio, Santiago, 1982 Photo Martin Melaugh

Chilean curator Roberta Bacic is a keynote speaker at the Third International Visual Methods conference in Wellington hosted by Victoria University and Te Papa. We are fortunate to also have her speak on the fascinating and politically-significant stories of arpilleras.     Arpilleras – tapestries or quilts sewn by women that ‘speak out’ visually about… Read more »

A recent acquisition to mark the end of this year’s Matariki celebrations

  • Kikopiri
  • Snowden 1
  • Snowden 2
  • Maori women from Otaki

“Matariki Ahunga Nui – Matariki is a provider of abundant resources” This recent acquisition (purchased June 2013) is a tukutuku tūrapa, or panel named ‘Matariki’. It was woven to acknowledge the Maori New Year by master weaver Sonia Snowden (Ngāti Wai, Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Whātua, Ngā Puhi). It is made of kiekie, pīngao , woven in a lattice form… Read more »

Conservation of a Micronesian textile

Recently I completed a two year project to conserve a unique Micronesian textile.  It was such a pleasure to get acquainted with this very rare object with distinctive features–I was amazed to see that the colour changes in the patterned end of the cloth had been created by either interlinking or knotting  warps of two colours together (photomicrograph image below), indicating a high level weaving… Read more »

Rātana Church and Mita Ririnui: The Colours of Service

  • Filming Mita Ririnui in Te Papa studio. June 2012. Photographer Puawai Cairns, copyright Te Papa Tongarewa 2012.
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  • Decoding the Āpotoro Rēhita robes

ME024090; Āpotoro Rēhita Haahi Rātana Kākahu (Registered Apostle Ratana Church religious clothing) Continuing the blogging about some of the key uniforms and acquisitions for the Uniformity exhibition, this blog is going to talk about one of my favourite uniforms in the show: the robes of an Āpotoro Rēhita from the Rātana Church and a uniform… Read more »

Birds of a feather

  • Page from the British Museum's 1970 guide for collectors on preparing bird skins.
  • DEAD SET POSTER | PUKEKO, offset print on 170gsm
  • DEAD SET | MIROMIRO SCARF, digital print on silk/cotton
  • DEAD SET | KOTARE CUSHION, Digital print on hemp / organic cotton

The Te Papa Store has just taken possession of a range of new stock inspired by the museum’s natural history collection. Dead Set is by textile designer Genevieve Packer, and is based on Te Papa’s haunting and strange collection of bird skins.   For the novice, of which I am in the case of natural history, bird skins are… Read more »

Redcoated ancestor

  • Sergeant John Smith Jackson, late 1880s-90s. Photograph courtesy of Beatrice Jackson and Pat McAllister.
  • The tunic on display in 'Uniformity', level 4, Te Papa.
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  • Graham Jackson and Matt Raines checking out Sergeant John Smith Jackson’s uniform, 2012.

Graham Jackson and his grandson Mathew Jackson Raines were thrilled to see the uniform of their ancestor Sergeant John Smith Jackson (1870-1963) on display in Uniformity: Cracking the dress code at Te Papa recently. Sergeant Jackson is Graham’s grandfather and Matt’s great-great grandfather. As a young man, John Smith Jackson joined the Gordon Highlanders – a… Read more »

Uniformity: Making the Curatorial Cut

  • Jerry UGS
  • Graphic for Sir Jerry's uniform. Te Papa 2012.
  • Taiaha Kura http://collections.tepapa.govt.nz/objectdetails.aspx?oid=132774&term=taiaha+red
  • Photographer Michael Hall, Te Papa 2012.

 I’ve been asked a lot of questions about why some of the new acquisitions were pursued and why they were put into this show, so hopefully this entry will help answer some of the queries and shed light on the curatorial decisions made for Uniformity. In my last blog Uniformity: Why Uniforms Matter, I talked about… Read more »