Making Conversation

Now on
02 Mar – 16 Jun 2019

Judy Wilson, Brown Fleece VI, 1982

Judy Wilson, Brown Fleece VI, 1982

Making Conversation is a story of makers connected through a commitment to craft. The exhibition proposes that by looking at the past we can see how it has informed the present, which will in turn inform the future of craft in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Making Conversation features craft from the 1970s and 1980s alongside pieces made by contemporary artists to reveal the intergenerational and interdisciplinary nature of craft practices. Featuring the works of Helen Mason, Doreen Blumhardt, Wi Taepa (Ngāti Pikiao, Te Arawa, Te Āti Awa), Dave Marshall, Judy Wilson, Erenora Puketapu-Hetet (Te Āti Awa), Gordon Crook and Lesley Nicholls, Areez Katki, Noeline Brokenshire, Fred Graham (Ngāti Koroki Kahukura), Paul Mason and Frances Stachl (Ngā Puhi, Te Āti Awa).

The makers in this exhibition may work with different mediums, but all share a commitment to their craft and dedication to the materials at hand, such as clay, fibre and wood. These makers are connected through networks and communities that have formed gradually over several decades and often work collectively to ensure that knowledge is shared and disseminated. The craft publications and collectives that artists initiated in the 1970s and 1980s were both critical at the time and helped foster the next generation of makers.

Contemporary makers in Making Conversation continue the craft conversation that advocate, educator and potter Doreen Blumhardt (1914-2009) instigated in 1981 with the publication Craft New Zealand. This book helped capture the histories of craft in Aotearoa New Zealand. This exhibition considers several other journals and publications that reflect significant conversations about craft in Aotearoa New Zealand: NZ Potter, Touch Wood and The Web.

Curated by Milly Michell-Anyon, 2018 Blumhardt/Creative New Zealand Curatorial Intern.


Craft Publications, blog by Milly Mitchell-Anyon