Mahara Arts Review: Textile Art

Textile art excites!

By Cushla McGaughey

Sara Boland with her winning entry

This year’s exhibition has seen an exciting increase in textile art entries. (The Mahara exhibition runs through until January 12.)

In fact, the top award was taken out by textile artist, Sara Boland, with Di-vision, a statement about the effect of the Expressway on the Kapiti community.

She says it is also “a statement about the place of textile work as a legitimate medium in the world of art”.

(Sara currently has an exhibition on at Tutere Gallery. Scroll down to November 21.)


The classic Chatham Island Forget me not!

Among seven other examples of textile art in the exhibition is Nancy Maxwell’s work, C.I. Forget me not. (See alongside.)

Large blue flowers and glossy foliage make this Chatham Islands native a much loved and sought after garden plant. 

It’s not a true forget-me-not, but is so named because the flowers are very similar.

Classified as ‘nationally vulnerable’ in the wild, the plant also needs the right conditions to do well in the garden. It likes rich soil that is always moist, but still well drained. It needs protection from frosts, but likes partial shade, and will tolerate neither drought nor humidity. Successful cultivation is however well worth the trouble.

Chatham Island Forget-me-nots are buzz-pollinated by bumblebees.

The hard-working bees shake the pollen loose, using their flight muscles with an audible buzzing sound to vibrate the body of the flower.

And so growing and pollinating the plant requires considerable skill and effort – just like textile art.