After hitch-hiking around Australia and working in Western Australia with Aboriginal groups, Bill returned to New Zealand and started a family. As he was always interested in horticulture he ended up running a commercial organic vegetable farm in Te Horo. Back injuries put paid to that so he retrained as a potter.
After 20 years potting he started dyeing fabric using plants and pigments found locally. In the background he was making bird-houses and they have taken on a life of their own. He loves searching for odd bits and pieces to decorate them with. Most are donated by people who have bought houses before. His flock is huge now, and his own house has many sparrow apartments on it!
Mary has been an artist all her life, trained in oils and watercolour, and also has a lifelong interest in crafts. Now retired, Mary is currently focusing on Raranga (flax weaving). She did a year long course with Te Wananga o Aotearoa, learning all aspects of Māori weaving and its cultural context.
All her weaving is completed according to tikanga, from the harvesting of the harakeke to the final whiri (plait). Mary says, “I love that the items are from locally sourced materials, hand processed and biodegradable. At the end of their useful lives they return to Papatūānuku.”
Mary will be at the Gallery each Sunday of the exhibition, demonstrating the art of Raranga.
As well as spun, woven, knitted, felted and hand-crafted fibre artwork, Vivien Adams‘ prize-winning machine knitting will be on display.