Category Archives: Exhibitions

Auckland exhibition and performance – Robert Carter

Robert Carter – Sometimes A Great Notion


When Elsie MacPherson purchased Simplicity pattern 2523 at the Avondale hospice shop in November 1982, she did so with the intention of producing a practical and attractive garment for her six year old granddaughter, Elisa.

It is unlikely she would have foreseen that, 30 years later, the instructions for making this child’s one-piece playsuit would form the structure of an orchestrated improvisation of sewing machines.

We live in strange times.

Robert Carter describes himself as “an occlusion of the geek, engineer, tinkerer with the mystic, agnostic, seeker”. He improvises with artifacts of technological accretion, and searches for ways to revive the dead, respect the old, and find humility in the consumer onslaught.

NOTE: There will be a performance by Robert (day and time yet to be decided). If interested, keep an eye on the Audio Foundation website:

Exhibition runs until Saturday 31 May at the Audio Foundation: Sub-Basement of the Parisian Tie Factory, 4 Poynton Terrace (Off Pitt St or behind St Kevins Arcade) AK Central

Special thanks to Creative New Zealand and Becks for their support.

iD XV (Dunedin, April 2014)

Winning Emerging Designers entry by Mahshid Mahdian on the Railway Station catwalk.  Image iD Dunedin Fashion Inc.

Winning Emerging Designers entry by Mahshid Mahdian on the Railway Station catwalk.
Image iD Dunedin Fashion Inc.

iD’s over for another year but the fifteenth anniversary event more than lived up to expectations. The raving has ranged from the people you’d expect to rave to random comments on by young men dragged along by their girlfriends (they all say that, but the men in the audience never look bored). This year, there seemed to be a lot of satellite events, several of which involved local CTANZ members. All three of Dunedin’s public museums and galleries featured small fashion and costume exhibitions, with the Tanya Carlson wedding dresses at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery the main event. An informal talk between curator Jane Malthus and Tanya Carlson on the Saturday drew over 100 even before the week’s official launch.

The week involves lots of talking about fashion. There’s always a public session featuring a guest judge, this year World’s Francis Hooper. Midweek, a new initiative organised by Elaine Webster, the University of Otago’s Director of Continuing Education drew around 100 people to a panel discussion on shoes featuring Elaine, Jane Malthus, shoe designers Sarah Riley, and Angela Roper of Ziera, and the NZ Fashion Museum’s Doris de Pont. (Doris was back at the university the next day to talk to a small but enthusiastic group of fashion activists about the New Zealand Fashion Museum.)

Walk this Way

Walk this Way

The various surrounding events help build up excitement for the main events. The Railway Station runway show is the big one, but the one that the cogniscienti rave about is Emerging Designers, which never disappoints. This year it was at the recently refurbished Dunedin Town Hall (the new seats upstairs are very comfortable). Dunedin’s reputation for wearing black was rather compromised by a surprisingly colourful audience – lots of splashes of red, green, blue and turqoise particularly. Lots of that on the catwalk as well, in an evening that began with black leather and ended with red tartan and plush. As always there were various degrees of subtlety and crowd favourites (oversized teddy bears will do it every time); the winner this year student Mahshid Mahdian from Brera Academy, Italy with a Venetian inspired collection.

Emerging designer's showstopper ChinHauTay's BeWear Bear collection. Image iD Dunedin Fashion Inc.

Emerging designer’s showstopper ChinHauTay’s Bewear Bear collection.
Image iD Dunedin Fashion Inc.

Huge congratulations to Susie Staley and the iD team for organising another stellar week for locals and visitors alike. Check out the iD website and sign up for their updates and if you’ve never been, keep an eye out for next year.

More coverage and lots more pictures:

Frock frenzies kicking off

It’s time to practice your air kissing, with fashion events coming up in Auckland, Dunedin and Wellington over the next six weeks.

Kicking off is Auckland’s new 10 Days of Fashion in the City event running 28 Feb – 9 March. There’s a run  of fashion films (The September Issue, Bill Cunningham NYC, Valentino: the Last Emperor and The Royal Tenenbaums ), a new NZ Fashion Museum popup featuring highlights of their first themed exhibitions, special displays at the Central City Library, talks about famous clothing in art, a children’s event (get them young, that’s right), and an array of launches, markets and the like.

At then end of March, it’s iDXV (30 March – 6 April). Yes, Dunedin has been doing this for a decade and a half now. Business as usual: Emerging Designers on Thursday night, then two nights of the show proper at the previously longest catwalk in New Zealand/southern hemisphere/world (depending on which year you’re reading about). Alongside: screenings of NHNZ’s new series LA Frock Stars, Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel, and Yves Saint Laurent 5 avenue Marceau 75116 Paris at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery; exhbitions and talks at Toitu and Otago Museum, Tanya Carlsson on wedding dresses, Francis Hooper on World, a panel discussion on shoes, launches, popups, shows, teas, cocktails. Oh, and the international guest designer is Martin Grant.

So far, there’s a solid tranche of shows and exhibitions for Wellington Fashion Week (9-13 April), but more events to be confirmed. If you’re in one of these places, bookmark the links. If you’re somewhere else, is it holiday time yet?

From Muslin to Mosul – Public talk by Enaam Battani


Objectspace is currently showing an exhibition of beautiful textiles from the collection of Iraqi-born collector Enaam Battani in the Vault. Muslin was named after the Iraqi city of Mosul, as it is understood, that this is the place where Europeans first encountered this prized cotton cloth from Asia. Enaam brought to New Zealand a collection of costumes and textiles some of which she had inherited and some of which she had acquired. Works on display comprise mainly gold and silver embroidered works in muslin and silk which were worn for weddings, baptisms and other special occasions, the earliest garment being a child’s gold-embroidered silk Christening gown from the 1850s. The selection includes garments for men and women for wearing in the home, outside the home and at the bath house. This is a rare opportunity to see such garments, especially as from the 1940s many Iraqi women, particularly Christians and Jews, adopted the modes of European fashion and the wearing of traditional garments often fell from favour.

Enaam will be at Objectspace to discuss more about the history of the textiles and jewellery on display on the following dates: Saturday 22 February 11am, Thursday 27 February, 11am

If you would like to attend one of these free talks please phone the gallery on 376 6216 to register your interest.

Miss Fisher in Melbourne – exhibition extended

Well here’s a surprise to the costume-fanciers who are watching the Phryne Fisher mysteries currently on tv in NZ. Due to popular demand, the exhibition at Ripponlea in Melbourne (which features in the series as Phryne’s aunt’s stately home) of costumes from the series based on the books by Kerry Greenwood has been extended until 1 December, so if you’re in Melbourne, there’s still a couple of weeks to get up close to those fabulous, fabulous frocks.

Your summer project – Changing Threads 2014 award

Art Nelson is calling for entries from NZ resident artists for National Contemporary Fibre Art Awards 2014 (closing 18 February).

Full details of conditions and prizes at the link above for the call for artworks featuring predominantly any kind of fibres or textiles, in any technique or mix of techniques, any size or shape. Think large, small, flat, three-dimensional, natural, synthetic but above all think  “ORIGINALITY; the emphasis being on work which stretches the boundaries of fibre art to give a contemporary twist to the more traditional view of this medium”. New work will have priority.

National Contemporary Fibre Art Awards 2014

Frances Hodgkins Textile Designs on display

Ngā Toi | Arts Te Papa is Te Papa’s new, changing programme of art from the national collection and beyond – both on the floor and online.

Textile design by Frances Hodgkins, c. 1925, gouache on paper. Purchased 1998 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds. Te Papa.

The spring season features five completely new shows: Michael Stevenson’s This is the Trekka, Colin McCahon’s sweeping Walk (Series C), works by Petrus Van der Velden, landmark contemporary New Zealand jewellery, and textile designs by Frances Hodgkins. The latter are on display for the next three months, and are also the subject of an essay, Cubist Dreams and Wings like fire flies, by CTANZ member Claire Regnault for Te Papa’s online magazine Off the Wall.


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