A Common Thread is a vibrant selection of works in fibre, mixed media, stitch, metal and sculpture.
For the first time, Tauranga based Stitchbirds - Liz Wilson, Pauline Shilton, Jo Ann Ingram and Linda Inglis - have joined forces with ex-local metal sculpture artist Vivian Keenan to exhibit together from October 5th (Open evening 5th October at 5.30pm) till October 25th, at The People's Gallery, Historic Village, 17th Ave.
Stitchbirds explore stitch on textiles through many art mediums, including encaustic wax, lace, indigo dyeing, Shibori, natural dyeing and machine embellishing. Some works challenge the viewer to consider the definition of a thread, especially when the work has been stitched and the thread then removed. Although most works exhibited by Stitchbirds are individual pieces, Ribbon Round Robin, is a collaborative work which originated from a piece of large floral ribbon. Once quartered, each Stitchbird had no boundaries within the same sized art board. After adding a layer, the work was passed to the next Stitchbird. What started out as a fairly simple exercise evolved into a complex challenge, often pushing boundaries to find balance and satisfaction working collaboratively.
Another challenge for this group was 'Harbour' - with no conditions. Each Stitchbird has interpreted where we all reside very differently. Liz has several pieces executed in different mediums including Japanese Shibori and Boro. Some of the exhibits have been inspired by Liz's regular walks along The Mount base track. A special interest in geological strata has influenced her works. Pauline's work focuses on The Mount using layers of encaustic wax, dyed fabrics and stitch. Another work depicts the seashore incorporating the ever common stingray. The Port, a major focus of our harbour, is also included in her work. Jo Ann explored the harbour through machine embellishment and hand stitch. The changing views from her home from sunrise have been a major inspiration in this work. Linda worked a small series on traditional linen, being influenced from photographs she took at Memorial Park. One of the series uses a strip from a plastic bag as the thread - a poignant contemplation of what is around us. The opportunity arose for Vivian Keenan to participate, as her metal weaving complements Stitchbirds works and philosophy. Vivian, who currently resides on Great Barrier Island, has been weaving and stitching with metal as an extension and evolution of her basket weaving practice. Her works are diverse and offer the viewer a medium beyond stitch.
A Common Thread is an opportunity for the whole community to experience many art mediums from a group who have a passion to share their diversities with and beyond the needle. This exhibition will open on the same evening (5th October at 5.30pm) as the 'Mad Dogs and an Englishmam' exhibition by Nick Eggleston in the Incubator Gallery.