As a lifetime sewer and avid collector of vintage memorabilia there's always been textiles, fibres, buttons, tools, old toys and tools around me. My design process starts with what I have in my "stash".
The first murals were made while attending a Diploma in Creative Technology course, Weltec 2009 & 2010. Using my stash was a frugal approach to the design challenges of the course. The process was - what resources do I have? And then - how can I use these to complete the design brief?
As an older student, after 30 years in the clothing industry, I was surprised by how little younger students knew about early life in New Zealand. This generation had no knowledge of people who lived before the flood of cheap clothing from overseas which started in the 1980's. The idea that you had to make your own clothing, mending what you had or reuse existing garments to make a new style was totally weird!
So, within the stitching of the murals is a homage to the everyday folks of last century who were by necessity, frugal and used resources carefully. Sustainability has therefore become part of my artistic process:
- They combine story, song, theatre and simple hand-craft.
- Their aim is to connect children of the digital age with stories about people of the past.
- The layers of stitching echo the skills that helped ordinary folk live their lives before the availability of the technologies we have today.