lacing/kŌtuitui

2019 - ongoing
 

In lacing/kōtuitui, I combine materials and traditional methods – lacemaking, knitting, and whatu – following in the path of my father’s mother, Nana Maire, my mother’s mother, Grandmama Faith, and my many-greats grandmāmā Te Paea. I prepare lace bobbins (gifted to me as a child) with beaded weights made from Taranaki river clay, knit muka into lace, whatu gorse into harakeke, and stitch my way slowly back across the distance to my tūrangawaewae.

 

This mahi is a response to the consideration of how we hold and carry on ancestral traditions, stories and skills. Though we may be generations removed from the stories and lands that first formed those traditions, and though the materials we use to revitalise these traditions may have changed, we are still able to honour the mahi of our tūpuna by continuing their craft.

artworks include
 

if I knit enough lace into blankets we can keep warm for generations to come (2019-present). Wool hand-spun in conversation between sibling-not-in-law Siobhan and myself, knitted into an ongoing blanket in the Shetland lace pattern Print o da Wave.

 

tūpuna guide us to weave in any way we can (2019–ongoing); muka gathered from Taranaki and Tāmaki Makaurau, hand knit into the Shetland lace pattern Print o da Wave. Currently 100 x 290mm.

distance rewoven from the roots to the stem (2020-ongoing). Hīkoi;35mm film;dye-sublimated print (of Tongaporutu harakeke and gorse) onto hemp fibre unravelled by hand; whatu in plant- dyed (gorse, kānuka, harakeke, lupin, tanekaha) wool yarn. 600 x 1000mm.

distance measured by a mountain's grief/distance covered, stitch by tiny stitch (2020-ongoing). Hīkoi; 35mm film; dye-sublimated print (of Taranaki seen from Ruapehu on a clear day) onto hemp canvas; Taranaki hand-embroidered back into the image (in cotton thread); drawn-thread/cutwork in hemp thread following Nana’s patterns; velvet embroidery fabric prepared by Nana. 600 x 1000mm.​

thirty-one hand-turned wooden lace-bobbins in various hardwoods, gifted to me by Nana and made by my uncle; beads made from river clay, ochre, and black sand, gathered from Tongaporutu, Taranaki; beads made from seaweed and pumice, gathered from Oakura, Taranaki; beads made from river stones, gathered from Tongaporutu Beach and the base of Taranaki maunga; Hawaiian faux-pearl beads from Grandmama’s necklaces; quartz, amethyst, malachite, shell, and glass beads gifted to me as a child; muka; fish skin leather (2004 - ongoing). Hand-made and passed down beads; wooden lace-bobbins; repurposed electrical wire. Dimensions variable. Placed on Nana's embroidery sampler.

 

gather riverbank clay/to make a bowl, shaped in the palm of your hand, to find again a lost and tender tongue (2020); river clay, ochre, black sand (gathered from Tongaporutu, Taranaki); various beads for thirty-one hand-turned wooden lace-bobbins [..]. (Title formed from lines in Qwo-Li Driskill’s poem Tal’-s-go Gal’-quo-gi Di-del’-qua-s-do-di Tsa-la-gi Di-go-whe-li/ Beginning Cherokee)​