The Costume & Textile Association of New Zealand has just opened registrations for its symposium which is taking place at Massey University, Wellington on 7- 8 July. The year’s theme, Nature Now, provides the opportunity to explore historical, contemporary and even future connections between nature, dress and textiles. The symposium is open to members and non-members alike. Held annually, it attracts an enthusiastic community of researchers, conservators, historians, collectors, wearers and makers, linked by a love of the rich world dress and textiles.
We a thrilled that Rangi Te Kanawa, one of Te Papa’s textile conservators, and Dr Karyne Rogers from GNS Science, have been invited to present a keynote address. In November 2015, Rangi and Karyne were awarded a prestigious 3-year research grant from the Marsden Fund, which ‘supports excellence in science, engineering, maths, social sciences and the humanities’ through grants for investigator-initiated research.
Combining their skill sets, Rangi and Karyne are using environmental science, including geochemical fingerprinting, social science and indigenous heritage studies as forensic tools to reveal the origins of unprovenanced Māori cloaks. Their aim is to reconnect these cloaks with place and people. The project is aptly entitled ‘Track the Black: the whakapapa of paru’.
Elaine Yan Ling Ng, a Hong Kong based textile and furnishings designer who weaves ‘the magical movements of nature with manmade technologies’ is the CTANZ’s second keynote speaker. Described by one writer as a ‘techno fairy, she is internationally renowned for weaving together ‘the magical movements of nature with manmade technologies’. Elaine is a TED fellow and presented ‘Naturology: The secret life of textiles’ at the TED Global Conference in 2012.
Papers, workshops and tours
The keynote addresses will be supported by a lively programme of 20 diverse papers exploring the relationship between dress, textiles and nature, from the ancient Egyptian cotton producing town of Kellis to the nature-inspired couture of Alexander McQueen. Subjects covered include: rag rugs, tivaevae, jewellery, embroidery, weaving, fancy dress, fashion, nature and biography and more. Delegates will also have the opportunity to participate in workshops at Massey’s College of Creative Arts, and delve behind the scenes tours at Te Papa.
For more information on the Costume & Textile Association of NZ visit their website, and for updates on the symposium, costume and textile related exhibitions, events and more sign up for their blog, DressAddress.