Te Uku fibre artist Ruth Port is weaving works of art like never before, for her first solo exhibition which opens at ArtsPost in Hamilton next week.

“It’s a biggie,” she says of the event which has kept her busy all summer in the hope that about 16 pieces can be on show for the month-long exhibition. “I’ll be going to the last minute.”

Suspended pieces, a cloak, some wall hangings and hue or gourds that have been woven around make up the collection.
“They have been woven out of all sorts of fibre but mainly harekeke (flax),” says Ruth.
Other fibres include pingao, kiekie, neinei and houhere or lacebark.

Ruth says it’s been “a self-journey” to see what she could actually do. “I learnt things I could do with harekeke that I couldn’t do before”.
It’s meant at times taking herself away from the distractions of the family home in Okete Road to develop her artform.

The work is dedicated to Papatuanuku or Mother Earth, she says.
Ruth is kairaranga or weaving tutor at the Old School Arts Centre and a committee member of local weaving group Nga Hua o te Rito. She was also recently voted onto the national weavers’ organisation Te Roopu Raranga Whatu o Aotearoa.

Edith Symes