nature in the making

Geology interpreted through woven textiles

Well-known New Zealand weaver, Agnes Hauptli from Peria,is putting on an amazing exhibition of geological forms and beautiful natural landscapes called ‘nature in the making’. Joined by Stacey Harvey-Brown, a fellow professional weaver from the UK, the exhibition of stalactites, canyons and caverns – showcasing some highly unusual three-dimensional weaving and stunning visual images – will be at Arts in Oxford from 12th April to 7th May.

The exhibition has recently been on show at the Earth House, Peria; after its New Zealand leg it will go to the USA – to the B2 Fine Art Gallery in Tacoma, Washington – before going on to other venues in the USA and Europe.

Since 2010, the two weavers have met in the US every two years to visit some of the geological features surrounding their biennial weaving conference locations. This exhibition was inspired by trips to the Grand Canyon and Antelope Canyons in Arizona, and the cave systems under the Blue Ridge and Shenandoah Mountain ranges in Virginia. Hauptli uses a computer-assisted jacquard loom to create large visually engaging panels in sumptuous colours as well as shaft looms for her interpretations and Harvey-Brown uses a shaft loom to create highly textured three-dimensional Growth Forms installations.

This is the first time Harvey-Brown has visited New Zealand and she hopes that her two-month visit will inspire further joint exhibitions with Hauptli. “Agnes and I like to challenge what weaving can do and how people perceive it and we both love geology, so using weave to express nature seemed a natural way to go”, she explains. Timed to coincide with the Professional Weavers’ Network of NZ annual conference in Coopers Beach, and the Creative Fibre Festival in Dunedin in late April, it is hoped the exhibition will attract new audiences to woven textiles.