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.