Friday, April 1, 2011
At the beginning of the month I began a diploma course in Raranga (weaving) through the Te Wananga o Aotearoa. My first assignment was due this week and our only brief was that it must be a mobile or wallhanging and that we must incorporate at least four different whiri (plaits) in the piece. I called my piece Dichotomy and I wanted to use the piece to illustrate the duality of the human response to conserving our natural resources and the consumerism and subsequent waste that threatens that conservation. I used the mask to symbolise Mother Earth and the human race. The right side of the mask is covered with picutres of the natural world taken from gardening magazines and the whiri are made from harakeke (flax) native grasses and cotton fabric and symbolises the natural resources. The left side of the mask symbolises consumerism and wastage and is covered with images from junk mail and the whiri are made from recyled materials. The mask is mounted on a section of flax flower. The flax lengths have been left long to indicate that nature will overcome in the end and the flax korus encompassing the metal tape at the top of the piece and at the top of the mask symbolise the same concept. The flax whiris cradling the mask on each side symbolise that the natural world cradles and supports us and the use of the recycled materials reminds us that we each a responsibilty to walk lightly and using recycled materials in art is one way to help diminish the growing piles of waste. The pieces are assessed by the other students doing the course as well as the tutors and the piece was very well received and I got very good feedback and marks from the other students.