Covid Alert Level 2

Visitors are required to wear a face covering and keep a social distance of two metres. Numbers are limited to 100 people in the gallery at any one time. For information on Alert Level 2 visit the government website

CALENDAR UPDATE: Softly Whispering—Textile Stories from Taranaki is cancelled and will be rescheduled for 2022 (Dates to be confirmed).



Stitching by the regions’ embroiderers comprising new work by members of the Manawatu‑Whanganui‑Taranaki embroidery guilds

Friday 15 October – Sunday 7 November


Opening event Saturday 16 October 2pm

Percy Thomson Gallery is in stitches!

Town and Country Stitched is the biennial exhibition for members of all Embroiderers’ Guilds in the Taranaki, Whanganui and Manawatu region and includes some of the area’s finest needlework. There also pieces by young people who have vied for awards in each of their three sections.

Embroiderers’ Guilds are made up of diverse, creative and inspirational people, all with a common love of stitching.

The exhibition features a variety of embroidery techniques, both contemporary creative embroidery and traditional embroidery such as cross stitch, black-work, surface embroidery, Casalguidi, canvas work, white-work, Jacobean, Hardanger, Italian traditional and many more.

The work has been completed by Guild members in the last two years and covers a range of skill levels from six-year-old beginners to embroiderers with advanced skills.

This regional showcase of embroidery aims to encourage embroidery in all its forms. The pieces demonstrate both innovation in design and excellence in stitching and comprise a variety of objects to view and admire.

Each piece has been judged in individual sections. There is a viewer’s choice section for visitors to pick their favourite piece, not an easy task with more than 110 pieces to choice from.

During the exhibition, members of the Guild are stitching in the gallery and are happy for visitors to view and ask questions. It is always fascinating to see how a piece has been developed. Members are always keen to share their passion, and hopefully, inspire others. They can give information on where to start, times of local guild meetings and workshop opportunities.

Kudu from out of town by Lynette Viviers.
Long and short stitch.

Friday 15 October – Sunday 7 November


Opening event Saturday 16 October 2pm

Connections are made all the time, small connections with people we meet in the street, larger webs of connection between family or groups we work with, and virtual connections over social media. All of these are based on how we present ourselves, how others see us and how we view others.

Jo's work for Nexus focuses on personal connections between physical people; patterns of connections formed when large groups work together. These invisible patterns form slowly but become strong and beautiful over time.

Maree's focus is on connections made over social media, often based on lives that are highly curated and viewed through any number of filters. What are people losing in their effort to conform? Are these connections real if based on a slightly less-than-truthful identity?

Both Maree and Jo use traditional embroidery techniques to deliver work that they hope will spark conversations about contemporary culture.

Maree Burnnand is an embroiderer, who through her work, likes to challenge peoples' perception of embroidery.

‘I have always had a love for textiles and fibre and my further education was in fashion and textile design but as I have aged, embroidery has come to the fore.’

Maree’s work tends to be very traditional and simple in its technique but the subject matter is often not what you expect to find in embroidery.

‘Reflecting whatever I am into at the time, the works can be a little random, but  hints of the music, art and the macabre that I love always seem to come through.’  

Jo Dixey is a freelance hand-embroiderer who trained at the Royal School of Needlework thirty years ago.

‘My life involves teaching embroidery to small groups, working on pieces for exhibitions and doing commissions. These commissions include new work as well as restoration, for private individuals, the fashion industry and costume work for film.’ 

The work Jo stitches for an exhibition gives her opportunity to comment on contemporary culture and, hopefully, start a conversation amongst the viewers.

Jo's book ‘Stitch People’ was published in 2017 and later re-released as ‘Creative Thread’.

1. Entwine by by Jo Dixie.
Wool threads on Linen.

2. Journey or Destination? by Maree Burnnand.
Wool thread on linen with gold leaf.

Kia ora. Welcome to Percy Thomson Gallery

Percy Thomson Gallery is Stratford's public art gallery and was opened in June 2002.

The gallery has developed and grown over the years, now receiving national recognition as a thriving and diverse exhibition space catering for all age groups and interests and involving the community at large.

New exhibitions start every three to four weeks, and vary between national, local and regional artists – established and emerging.

Percy Thomson portrait by Donna Willard-Moore. This portrait was painted for a future bronze-relief work by Donna.

Percy's Place is our boutique art shop featuring high-quality work by local artists.

10.30am — 3.30pm, Weekends 10.30am – 2.30pm


Percy Thomson Gallery
Prospero Place
56 Miranda Street

Telephone & Email

06 765 0917 

Gallery Director

Rhonda Bunyan

Opening hours

10.30am – 4.00pm weekdays 
10.30am – 3.00pm weekends 

Closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day, 
New Year's Day January 1, and January 2, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Anzac Day 
and between exhibitions


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