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. 


dilana | workshop

currently in creation | stories from dilana workshop

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Flax D13 | Avis Higgs

Avis Higgs is perhaps the only New Zealand textile designer of the 1940s, who has a large body of work extant. There are nearly eighty surviving designs all completed circa 1949.

The portfolio drawings are the largest collection and most concentrated insight into the way a New Zealand designer thought and worked in this period.

Avis’ designs can be divided into four broad themes: floral, matine, social and those drawn from the indigenous cultures of the pacific, whether Aboriginal, Maori or Polynesian.

“Flax D13” is form flora design that makes use of New Zealand native plants. Avis was aware that not every woman wanted to be a walking advertisement for antipodean nationalism, expressed in floral prints.The currency of these designs such as flax lay in their style of representation rather than their botanical status.

Avis was awarded the governor-general art award in 2006 as part of the festival exhibition of the New Zealand academy of fine arts.

This design “ Flax D13 “is one of 6 of Avis' designs produced into rugs by dilana Rugs.

currently in creation | stories from dilana workshop

dilana workshop June 2018

dilana workshop June 2018

study for floor 1600 x 5000 | martin poppelwell


Words by martin poppelwell


"the drawing for this rug was developed from 3 dimensional tiles made from earthenware, white slip and then drawn upon with black stain and chrome oxide. i have discovered that this process introduces a tactile and organic element to what is essentially a raised, textured and flat object.

thus the edges are almost straight, there are splotches of green indicating areas to draw around and the red areas are where the slip missed the clay. the off white is the colour of the finished piece

by working like this i can kind of leave the outcome to chance and therefore the ‘enlargement’ is a by product of making and drawing. 

the ‘disfunctional’ open grid built to behave like both a plan and an elevation, and could be an ongoing pile / stack of nameless things that we are surrounded by.

it is also a way of me thinking about passing the time,…but not too rapidly.