Quilter brings quirky work home

CARLY THOMAS
Last updated 12:00 13/06/2014

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Artist Ron Te Kawa's exhibition is a colourful and quirky take on traditional quilting work and will be at the centre of a Matariki celebration this month.

One Nite of Maori Magic: Pa Ladies and Star Sisters will be a celebration of the Maori new year, Matariki. It will be held at the Square Edge community gallery, where Te Kawa's works are on display including hand-crafted narrative quilts, wall hangings and clothing.

"They are all stories, they all have a narrative" Te Kawa said. "There will be poems, art, blessing, inspiration, ukuleles and dress-ups. Everyone is welcome.

"Matariki is a time to forgive and forget past hurts, where notions of class are put away. I've done Matariki at Te Papa for the last seven years, and now its time to come home "

Home for the last two years for Te Kawa has been Woodville, his childhood home.

"It's like being in a time machine and its amazing for an adult to go back to childhood."

Te Kawa has an eclectic past and has owned clothing shops in Wellington and Australia, selling his own designs. He created costumes for New Zealand singers Margaret Urlich and Jackie Clarke and grammy-nominated band Steriogram. He gained qualifications in fashion and design by correspondence and has exhibited extensively at Wellington's Te Papa.

"I had six quilting exhibitions last year and this year I just wanted to hide. But I am sewing madly and the opening of the New Zealand Eco Awards is coming up in Lower Hutt, I'll be dressing a whole kapa haka group of kids."

One Nite of Maori Magic: Pa ladies and Star Sisters is on June 20 at 6pm. Te Kawa's Square Edge exhibition can be viewed daily.

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- Manawatu Standard

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