Story about the "Venezia"

Venezia | Gavin Chilcott | dilana©2018

Venezia | Gavin Chilcott | dilana©2018

We have had the pleasure to work with Gavin Chilcott for many years and have seen his work evolve and transform. One thing all his artworks have in common is that they are always interesting and full of meaning. Gavin takes us on a trip around the world with this rug called “Venezia”. 

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The center piece of the rug is a reference to the measuring stick of a famous architect from the 16th century, Andrea Palladio. Andrea Palladio was obsessed with the perfect proportions and according to the Renaissance architect a building should mirror the proportions of the human body; as man is the image of God and the proportions of his body are produced by divine will. His builders did not use measuring tapes, but a stick 5 feet and 4 inches long.

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The lush patterns on the edges of the rug are an oriental influence. Gavin found inspiration in his collection of vintage hand printing blocks. These wooden blocks were used to print patterns on fabric and we think the patterns translate extremely well to this delicate hand-knotted medium.


The eye-catchers of the “Venezia” rug are the Cornucopia (or Horn of Plenty) that sit on a backdrop of twisting vines. They represent bountifulness and endless nourishment. They probably remind you of Greek and Roman deities associated with the harvest, prosperity, spiritual abundance and luck. This powerful symbol invites good energy into any space.

Gavin knows exactly how to tie all these elements of the composition together. He does it with style and ease adding floral and contrasting cubic elements.

This rug is a one-off and can be admired in our Christchurch gallery

size | 260cm x 200cm

currently in creation | stories from dilana workshop | October 18

Siapo | dilana workshop

Siapo | dilana workshop

Siapo | Michael reed

michael reed's art practice is printmaking based.the two prevalent themes in his work are social comment and the culture of the south pacific.the artifacts of the pacific are important as they testify to the quality, energy and ingenuity of the art and design culture that existed in our region prior to european colonisation. the outcomes, whether developed into objects of function, prestige or celebration, provide an insight and connection to past lives, social and cultural histories.

words by Michael | October 2018

A personal of interest of mine is the long, rich and inspiring diversity of pattern to be found around the world, in printed and woven forms.

As an artist and designer with a printmaking background, studying printing techniques and approaches to pattern design complemented and informed my teaching at Ara, in the Art & Design School. 

Over many years I studied the wide range of bark-cloth printing and patterning examples of the South Pacific held in museum collections, locally at the Canterbury Museum and, further afield, The British Museum. A notable opportunity was viewing a small book of bark-cloth samples, compiled from the many examples that were gifted to and, collected by Captain Cook on his Pacific voyages.

The museum examples were sometimes large and intact but often, just small delicate fragments. This experience of leafing through fragments with their contrasting designs, palette and technique, inspired and informed a group of my designs, in part a reflection on the print and pattern heritage of the early Pacific. 

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dilana | workshop