10 May 2019
An exhibition celebrating the work of 91-year-old master weaver Matekino Lawless opens today at Te Awamutu Museum.
The exhibition, Whatu Manawa, is the Rotoiti-based weavers’ first solo exhibition. It was originally shown at the Tauranga Art Gallery earlier this year with Te Awamutu only the second showing.
It features an exquisite selection of the Lawless’ signature works, chosen from an extensive collection of kākahu (cloaks), whāriki (mats) and kete (baskets) created between the 1980’s and today.
Lawless said she attributed her knowledge of weaving to her kuia (female elders) who “nurtured me during my childhood”.
“They were a major contributing factor to the skills I have acquired, and I owe my approach to the art of weaving to their teachings.”
Each detailed piece is made from native New Zealand plants and treated with natural dyes such as paru, demonstrating her loyalty to the traditions of her craft.
Having started weaving in her late thirties, Lawless is now a mentor and advocate for the legacy of raranga (weaving) traditions.
For her work she has been awarded the Auckland Art Museum Fellowship, the Queens Service Medal (QSM) and Creative NZ: Te Waka Toi’s Kingi Ihaka Art Award along with several other prestigious titles.
Her work is held in personal collections in Aotearoa, Europe, United Kingdom and the United States.
The exhibition at the Te Awamutu Museum will run until 19 October. Entry is free although a koha is appreciated. The Museum is open 10am to 4pm week days and 10am to 2pm on Saturdays and public holidays.