A special exhibition to celebrate the 125th anniversary of women's suffrage in New Zealand

Friday 14 December 2018 – Sunday 27 January 2019

Taranaki female artists and invited guests. Curated by Rhonda Bunyan

Supported by

All that separates, 
whether of race, class, creed,
or sex, is inhuman,
and must be overcome.
– Kate Sheppard

Women and the Vote

On 19 September 1893, after submitting a petition with nearly 32,000 signatures, New Zealand became the first self-governing country to grant women the vote. In most other democracies—including Britain and the United States —women did not get that right until after the First World War. 

New Zealand women voted for the first time in a general election on 28 November 1893. 

That achievement was the result of years of effort by suffrage campaigners, led by Kate Sheppard. 

In 1891, 1892 and 1893 they compiled a series of massive petitions calling on Parliament to grant the vote to women. 

In early colonial New Zealand, as in other European societies, women were excluded from any involvement in politics. Most people—men and women—accepted the idea that women were naturally suited for domestic affairs, such as keeping house and raising children. Only men were fitted for public life and the rough-and-tumble world of politics.

In the later 19th century, some women began to challenge this narrow view of the world. New opportunities were opening up for women and girls (especially those from wealthy or middle-class families) in secondary and university education, medicine, and in church and charitable work. Attention soon turned to women’s legal and political rights.

New Zealand’s pioneering suffragists were inspired both by the equal-rights arguments of philosopher John Stuart Mill and British feminists and by the missionary efforts of the American-based Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU).

A number of New Zealand’s leading male politicians, including John Hall, Robert Stout, Julius Vogel, William Fox and John Ballance, supported women’s suffrage. In 1878, 1879 and 1887, bills or amendments extending the vote to women (or at least female ratepayers) narrowly failed to pass in Parliament.

Outside Parliament the movement gathered momentum from the mid-1880s, especially following the establishment of a New Zealand WCTU in 1885. Skilfully led by Kate Sheppard, WCTU campaigners and others organised a series of huge petitions to Parliament: in 1891 more than 9000 signatures were gathered, in 1892 almost 20,000, and finally in 1893 nearly 32,000 were obtained—almost a quarter of the adult European female population of New Zealand.

Today, the idea that women could not or should not vote is completely foreign to New Zealanders. Following the 2017 election, 38% of our Members of Parliament were female, compared with 9% in 1981. In the early 21st century women have held each of the country’s key constitutional positions: prime minister, governor-general, speaker of the House of Representatives, attorney-general and chief justice.

Gallery Director, Rhonda Bunyan

Gallery Director, Rhonda Bunyan

I Am Woman

Percy Thomson Gallery director, Rhonda Bunyan, has curated an exhibition to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Woman’s Suffrage in New Zealand.

The exhibition, ‘I AM WOMAN’, is an official Ministry of Women Suffrage 125 anniversary event and is dedicated to womanhood or the essence of being a woman.

More than 80 Taranaki female artists from a range of disciplines are exhibiting; pottery, sculpture, painting, pastel, prints, mixed media, assemblage, creative fibre, photography, and glasswork.  Half a dozen invited artists from outside Taranaki will also contribute to the exhibition as invited guests.

Bunyan has asked the artist to explore her own ‘take’ on womanhood. She has been careful not to place any restrictions on the practitioners.

“I wanted to open up a conversation about what is like to be a woman living today, giving them the opportunity to respond to their current socio-economic, cultural and natural environments and with the large number of participants we are celebrating our diversity proudly.

“The brief was wide. Women were not only asked to explore their own ‘womanhood’, but could choose to embrace a courageous ancestor who has inspired them, or encompass the vision the artist has for her daughter or granddaughter’s futures.

“Each woman has a unique view of her place in the world through her own personal journey. No two stories are the same.

“The common thread, obviously, is that the artists are female, but the works themselves are divergent. This diversity in the artists and their work is the muscle of this exhibition.”

Participating artists are asked to provide words to describe their work and its meaning which will add an extra dimension to this thought-provoking exhibition. 

Sugar Loafing Arts Cast: I Am Woman

Tune into the episode of Sugar Loafing Arts Cast where you'll be guided through I Am Woman exhibition at Percy Thomson Gallery by curator Rhonda Bunyan, and hear from painter Fern Petrie in depth about her paintings.

Photo courtesy of Wairarapa Times-Age

Photo courtesy of Wairarapa Times-Age

Special Guest
Georgina Beyer

I AM WOMAN is being officially opened by Georgina Beyer, former Mayor of Carterton and MP for Wairarapa, the world's first transgender woman to be elected to government office.  

The gala opening event is Friday 14 December at 7pm. Georgina will also speak at an informal gathering at Percy Thomson Gallery the following morning, Saturday 15 December at 11 am.

Much of Beyer’s political life has been spent under a bright and invasive spotlight. Before entering the political arena she was an entertainer, actor and sex worker. 

She became Mayor of a conservative Wairarapa town, Carterton, in 1995, and won the Wairarapa seat as Labour candidate in 1999.

Beyer has never been slow to voice her opinions, both personal and political. She has constantly championed the rights of the LGBT communities on a local, national and international level, and was at the forefront of prostitution law reform.

After resigning from parliament in 2004, Beyer wasn’t able to find a job that fitted her experience and public life skill-set. 

In 2010, Beyer stated that she was struggling financially since leaving politics and was applying for welfare. 

In 2014 Beyer was diagnosed with end-stage renal failure and was on dialysis four times a day seven days a week.

The offer of a kidney by a friend, resulting in a successful transplant in 2017, saved her life and now the crusader queen has resumed public appearances with as much gusto as ever.

Beyer has been candid about her brush with death, citing a rich and colourful life with lots of highs and lows having prepared her for it.

Beyer spent her pre-school years in Taranaki, raised by her grandparents. She is of Te Atiawa, Ngāti Mutunga, Ngāti Raukawa and Ngāti Porou descent.

In October this year she was invited to speak at a public event at Oxford University's debating society, Oxford Union, the fourth New Zealander and first Maori to receive this honour. She also accepted an invitation to speak at Cambridge.

An excerpt from one of her famous speeches from the Parliament Chamber: “I have spent the better part of my life trying to make things better for this generation. My faith now lies with this younger generation to stand on my shoulders, just as I stood on the shoulders of those who went before me. I’ve done my bit to move the needle, now it’s your turn.”

Gallery 1

For a more in-depth look at the artworks in this slideshow, check out Gallery 2.


Charlotte Giblin These Hands

Acrylic on canvas $795

Hands tell their own stories – maybe they are more honest than faces are able to be – and become sincere, emotional portrait subjects as a result.
The movement of hands expresses so much about the innermost feelings of the individual - the way they are held, the positions they adopt – as well as the form of fingers and condition of the flesh. Age and experience are written onto hands, pain and sickness are knotted into fingers... and although the outlook and attitude of the individual can be in contrast to the appearance of their hands, it is the stories buried within these tools of ours that can really explain a life’s work.

The hands of women, in particular, carry great responsibility and care. They are hands that nurture, feed, clothe, comfort and soothe – while also being hands that work hard to provide, protect and defend. Hands carry tales of love and loss, of pain and pleasure, of hardship and bounty, of challenge and triumph, of giving and receiving.

These Hands are 86 years old and have their fair share of experiences etched within. The mug of tea/coffee is symbolic of the times between women when food and drink is shared, and conversation flows.

I have used many layers of paint within the hands to express the depth of experience and passing of time, as well as the feeling of flesh as a form of life itself and something which eventually crumbles and disintegrates. In contrast the mug is smooth and shiny and bright, and might even remain like this long after these hands have gone, but it is the honesty and depth of the “ugly” flesh which holds emotion, tells real stories and has a legacy to pass on.

Fern Petrie
Queen For A Day

Oil on canvas

Fairytales tell us that our one true love must be out there somewhere. This painting tells a story of the rejection of fleeting love. Behind the figure Queen Elizabeth I’s poem ‘When I Was Fair & Young’ talks of a woman who rejects her suitors as a young woman and repents of her pride as she grows older. I like to think of this figure as a strong independent woman who knows her own heart and though brightly coloured birds symbolic of her suitors try to attract her gaze the passion in her heart has yet to be kindled. She waits in her castle of stone for the one who will be her prince charming.

When I Was Fair And Young
When I was fair and young, then favour graced me. 
Of many was I sought their mistress for to be.
But I did scorn them all and answered them therefore:

Go, go, go, seek some other where; importune me no more.
How many weeping eyes I made to pine in woe,
How many sighing hearts I have not skill to show,
But I the prouder grew and still this spake therefore:

Go, go, go, seek some other where, importune me no more.
Then spake fair Venus’ son, that proud victorious boy, 
Saying: You dainty dame, for that you be so coy,
I will so pluck your plumes as you shall say no more:

Go, go, go, seek some other where, importune me no more. 
As soon as he had said, such change grew in my breast
That neither night nor day I could take any rest.
Wherefore I did repent that I had said before:
Go, go, go, seek some other where, importune me no more.

Queen Elizabeth I

Dimmie Danielewski
The Working Girl

Acrylic on plywood panel $220

This is an unconventional portrait of a woman named Catherine. Catherine is a sex worker, and thanks to decriminalisation of sex work in Aotearoa, she is able to work safely to support her family. Catherine knows that if an employer attempted to exploit her, she would be protected by Employment Law, and if a client harmed her in any way, she could call the police and seek justice without fear of prosecution due to her chosen career.

In 2003 Aotearoa became the first country in the world to decriminalise sex work. It remains one of only two places in the world with full decriminalisation of sex work (alongside Australia’s New South Wales which decriminalised sex work in 1995), a model which is endorsed by the United Nations, Amnesty International, and the World Health Organisation.

The rights of sex workers are now protected by occupational and human rights legislation, and a sex worker who experiences violence in the workplace can now call the police without fear, and seek justice through the same avenue as any other person.

Sex workers still experience stigma associated with their employment from members of society, so many still choose to maintain anonymity, like Catherine, choosing not to connect their faces to their work. This social stigma is slowly diminishing with time, thanks to decriminalisation reminding us that sex work is just a job, and sex workers are just normal people raising families, paying bills, and buying groceries just like the rest of us.

My thanks to Catherine for baring her beautiful buttocks in the name of art.

Rhiannon Higgs
Blue Dress

Acrylic $750

Blue dress is an exploration of modern femininity and how it is a strength to be embraced. The central composition and strong lighting emphasise the presence of the dress, creating an overall strong painting that allows room for thought. I decided to paint in a monochrome blue colour scheme to explore the mix of gender stereotypes. This symbolises how today we are continuing to blur the lines between what is considered feminine and masculine.
I think that it is important for everyone to embrace femininity, because when we truly recognise this as a strength, we can all be freer.

Marianne Muggeridge
Myfanwy 2016

Oil on linen, Guest artist NFS

In 2002 I put together a short history of ART for a drawing group to show that without exception, historically, artists went through a classical drawing phase. For example, Picasso, Gustav Climpt and Edvard Munch, all of them leaving realism behind for abstraction. I discovered I had done the entire presentation without one woman artist. I went through the index of Grombrich’s grandly titled “The History of Art” to see whom Gombrich considered the most important women in art history. Not one woman. Plenty who were naked but not one woman artist. E H Gombrich was Art History 101 throughout the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s for art history students, worldwide.

Lisa Walsh

Glass $2400

When we look in a mirror we not only see the image of ourselves we also see a reflection of the evolution of our life.
As the image in the mirror is in constant change so is the role in which women are valued.
The New Zealand woman who looked into a mirror 125 years ago lived a very different life to mine and my hope is the woman who looks into the same mirror 125 years from today leads a life much greater than which we lead today.
In living our life fully we are honouring and celebrating the successes of the woman that lived before us and raising the standards for those woman to come.

Sonja van Kerkhoff
Josephine’s Mother, 2015

Acrylic on dubond (17/35) $227

‘Josephine’s Mother’ and ‘A 21st Century Feminist’ are about perception: reading and being read. The pose and composition of Josephine’s Mother is similar to the 1871 painting ‘Whistler’s Mother’. In this case, Josephine is the child the young woman is carrying. The mother, my daughter-in-law, looks alert and details such as a watch and the wall plug indicate that hers is a contemporary world, although she wears clothing typical of a bygone age. She is the future: the next generation, carrying the next. When these photographs were taken, in a studio I was using in Leiden, this was her daily attire as a form of her own artistic expression, wearing clothing that ‘displaced her’ in contemporary Dutch society. The various sizes as well as the not-quite edition and not-quite unique nature of these paint-prints are also a feminist sideways stance.

Michaela Stoneman

Mezzotint $190

The woman in this image references a marble statue I photographed at the V&A Museum in London in 2016. Depicting classic grace and ideals of beauty, the draped fabric lent itself well to creating this mezzotint etching. She is both vulnerable and strong, her stance is protective, she is quietly confident and staunch. Mezzotint is a magical and subtle process, drawing out the light from the deep dark. Amongst all the inequalities, injustice and violence we experience as women, we remain, bringing light and life to our world.

Maricia Churchward- Nickson
Tamaitai Mana (Woman Power) Cyclonic Power Mother Earth and climatic changes Symbolic of life and energy

Arcylic $385

I am currently working with my artist husband from our Studio/ Gallery (Studio88) which is part of our home in Stratford, Taranaki. My work is mostly abstract; I love exploring and experimenting with mixed media. For variety I also enjoy designing my upcycled products (purses and bags).
Originally from Wellington, and from a family of eight siblings I was surrounded and influenced with the arts, creativity and design from my father Joseph Churchward, (commercial artist, type designer).
I thrive in the abundance of this lively community, and take much pleasure from supporting, mentoring, and sharing innovative ideas with people.

Anna Scott
The Huia and the Elm Tree

Pencil and Acrylic on Ply $720

Ellen Locket, one century in age before her passing; a very traditional woman growing up in a period where men came first and woman stayed in the shadow.
Ellen experienced significant change in her lifetime and her character helped build the platform to help us stand where we are today.
This image connects to those memories spent in her garden, playing under the canopy skirt of the old Elm tree. I was innocent to what Ellen’s life had endured or what those shadows represented.

The Elm, like the leaves on the branches, symbolizes fertility, and life; learning, growth and harmony. The strength, stability and structure of the trunk, stands firm withstanding the greatest of challenges.

The huia, curious, yet cautious in its stance, looks back into the dark and unknown shadows. A symbol of a rangatira, the huia, was revered as a symbol of nobility, leadership and hierarchy.
One of the highest honours was to receive a huia feather.
To this, I gift my mother and grandmother; women who have lead the way for me to be a strong, independent woman full of unblocked opportunities.

Pip Guthrie

C Type Colour Photographic print $900

Jana Branca
I am Woman

Oil $4000

This painting references three generations of women and speaks of the fascinating role that generational impartation plays in the shaping a woman’s identity.
The artist’s hands are depicted towering in front of the viewer giving the impression of a pending embrace. As a child, the artist’s mother’s soft but strong hands were admired and adopted as a symbol of femininity. She hoped that her hands would be as competent, as resilient and as delicate as her mother’s.
The rose motif, overlaying the composition, alludes to the artist’s grandmother and signifies her grandmother’s gentle expression of femininity. Soft pinks, pastel colours and antique roses were some of her favourite things, and she surrounded herself with these. She is fondly remembered for her admirably flawless personal presentation and love of beautiful things.
The motif moves from being distinct from the subject matter to being indistinguishable, merging entirely with the hands in places. The selective blending and disjoining of the superimposed layer is indicative of an ongoing process of sifting through various expressions of femininity, particularly those modelled to us by our mothers and grandmothers. Through this notion of including and excluding various manifestations of womanhood we, as women, can continue to grow strong in our own femininity, settling our hearts on a precious truth: ‘I am woman’.


Maree Liddington
Grandmother’s Sewing Basket

Mixed Media $165

From my sewing box I have re-purposed oddments handed down from my Mother and Grandmother .
These are a reminder of the days when women sewed everything for their home and the family; everything from table linen to clothing, crochet dollies, babies’ bibs, knitwear and dresses. Of course, married women usually did not work outside the home. They stayed home and cooked and cleaned ... and sewed.
Quite a different lifestyle to today. Life would have been harder—or would it?
No automatic washing machines, but then no expectation to work and keep a household going.
What would you chose?


Laurel Davis
Convex Reflections

Spoons $105 each

An everyday object the spoon. These ones are over 100 years old and it made me think of the women who have held them over generations.
I wanted to show that emotions, thoughts, fears they might have experinced are still as relevant today..... The ones we don’t show on the outside..... The inner scream. The feeling of not being able to verbally express thoughts (a vine choking your voice).
The sadness, the happiness? A simple thing like a bad hair day. I hope these resonate for you, the viewer, as they did for me.

Antonia O’Mahony

Etching $580

The inspiration for this work was the character Antoinette/Bertha from the books Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea. Wide Sargasso Sea was a response by Jean Rhys to the unjust characterisation of Rochester’s ex-wife, the mad woman he imprisoned in the attic, in Charlotte Bronte’s novel.
Though the themes of Jane Eyre are a product of their time, I was always disturbed by Rochester’s oppressive actions. In Wide Sargasso Sea, the author retells Antoinette’s story, in which her English husband accuses her of Obeah (witchcraft), strips her of her Caribbean estate ‘Coulibri, disconnects her from her culture and home and objectifies her by calling her Bertha rather than her given name Antoinette.
Rochester attempted to control the unruly elements of Antoinette’s personality, the very things that were her strengths were also the otherness that he feared. As Jean Rhys did in re-writing her story
I too hoped to accentuate her unpredictability and defiance rather than oppress it.

Anthea Stayt

Re-built (Left)
Re-built (Right)

The sculpture on the left was returned to me after the Christchurch earthquakes, by a woman who just wanted to have back something that she had cherished before the chaos and destruction. I was commissioned to re-create this piece because to her, it represented her life before “The Disaster”.

The form reminded her not just of the shape of her once youthful body (which is the reason she purchased it) but also of her life before so much was ruined. I guess that she was wanting everything back as it once was.

However, I could not produce an identical sculpture for her. I did trybut in the time that had passed since I made the original, my style had developed, evolved and changed direction which meant that I just could not replicate the form. I did build two sculptures for her to choose from, but I know that she was disappointed that neither of them was exactly as she had expected. Although she did take one of them home, she left the broken one with me.

I love having it as a permanent display in my studio and although my husband has offered to “fix” it by smoothing off the jagged edges, I want it to be just as it is. To me this nameless sculpture tells a number of stories. It is not just a record of my artistic journey, but also of my personal life journey. It is a source of contemplation and reflection. It is the realisation that it actually symbolises the lives of many women. It is a constant reminder of the destructive and life-changing events that impact on us, that leave us broken. But at the same time it stands as a testament of survival. It has been damaged but it has not been destroyed. It can be re-built.It will not be exactly the same as before, but the intention will not change. The sculpture on the right, “Pippa” is representative of this belief. She may not look like the broken self next to her, but what no-one else can see is that underneath her decorative facade, she began in the exact same way. Over time, we can re-build. Wounds will heal. Scars will be covered by layers and these layers will become part of the whole and the whole is what you can see before you in Pippa – a beautiful and perfect self.

Bernice Mitchell
Hephzibah –
My Delight is in Her

Wool and silk $750

Woman: A wife of noble character, her worth is far more than rubies. She is clothed with strength and dignity, she opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. Proverbs 31.
In the creation of this wrap I wanted to use felt to demonstrate both the practicality of warmth and comfort, combined with the beautiful creativity which I see in my role as a woman. Felt as a fabric is soft and gentle, yet strong, firm and flexible, able to be shaped and used in so many different ways. I value these attributes within myself as a woman.
A foundation was laid of black wool fibres, a base upon which uniquely colourful wool blends were added, first in a central flower signifying my place in the world. Overlaid with precious colourful silk bringing beauty to the darkness. The petals were stretched to add depth to the creation.
Tendrils of silk from this flower signify my impact on my part of
the world. Opening my arms to the poor and needy, loving and reaching out, forming other buds and flowers through my children, my friends and others I impact, thus encouraging them to reach out themselves and add beauty to their world.
I see this picture as not unlike my growth as a woman. I too have known deep darkness but as I understand more of how God
has created me and how He sees me, my darkness is overcome, overlaid with His beauty, love and light. Hence my title, Hepzibah – My Delight is in Her.
As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.
Isaiah 62


Angela Gnyp
Soul Friend

Graphite on cotton rag paper $2500

This drawing reflects on my understanding and connection with nature. The lower trunks of tall coniferous trees fill the landscape, while my handprint and a black bear’s paw print appear etched into a large boulder in the foreground.
Drawn side by side, this image signifies my relationship with Mother Earth and my role as a woman to protect animals and the forests they live in.
Soul Friend reveals my interest in First Nations culture and their belief in the kinship between humans and bears. Their respect for the natural world is timeless and ever mindful that all life is one.


Amanda Hewlett

Oil on canvas $1500

Recent political events, both overseas and here in New Zealand, have shown that there is still a long way to go before there is true eqality for woman.
As artists woman still, at times, come across the glass ceiling: the unacknowledged barrier to advancement in the profession. Traditionally, in New Zealand, woman were allowed to model for, be the muse of, but were not allowed to draw from a live model. Much has changed since 1926 when artist Edith Collier had all her life drawings and paintings destroyed by her father as a result of his moral disgust at her work, and much has not.

Diane Doehring
Lillith Defiant

Handprinted lithograph on paper $650

Lilith? Who is that?

Adam’s wife, his first. Beware of her.
Her beauty’s one boast is her dangerous hair.

(Source: Goethe, “Faust: The First Part of the Tragedy”)

As a student of Jungian thought Diane is interested in the core meanings that are expressed by myths, legends and stories. Many ancient cultures have a version of Lillith (under a variety of names). She is a symbol of wisdom, freedom of thought and independence for women.
The influence of patriarchy can be seen in the story of Lillith. When she refuses to submit to Adam, she is sent away and replaced
by Eve. Her long hair becomes a symbol of dangerous seductive power, she is associated with the night and folklore warns of her threat to children. In order to avoid these ‘dangers’, women are required to be more like the submissive, and compliant Eve or the archetypical mother, Mary.
Diane enjoys the ritual involved in printmaking. From the conception and translation of the image onto a plate through drawing, carving or etching, to the messy stage of laying down the ink and finally the magic moment when the plate and paper is put through the press and the work is revealed.
This work is produced using aluminum lithography (where an aluminum plate is used in place of the traditional limestone matrix.) The process captures the quality of the hand drawn line.

Gabrielle Belz
Whale Singer

Acrylic on canvas $4000

This work is inspired by my father’s story of an event that happened just after WWI when he was a small boy growing up at Reotahi. A pod of whales came through the heads with their calves. In this first sentence, I realise there are immediately elements of gender, my father, myself – his daughter, the whale parents. Despite this being an exhibition affirming women, the balance of gender involved in the conception of the painting, I believe, is culturally relevant.

Considering the recent activity along the South Taranaki coastline in regard to mining issues, endangered reefs and whale strandings and the several roles played by women in these events, submitting this work seemed appropriate in this exhibition celebrating mana wahine.

Holly Smith
Jean Jones

Acrylic and collage on canvas $500

The London lights and party nights wearing fashions made on your machine.
Lashes thick and eyeliner flicked a mod on the 60’s scene.
Designer style of Biba and Quant made with odds and ends from home.
A Sassoon bob, a pageboy crop, a flair that only you own.

Caravan stays and beach getaways a break from your factory Job.
Cigarette smoking, Mini Cooper driving with Barbara Richard and Bob.
Feel the thunder of Stevie Wonder the beat of his live London show.
Tight miniskirts and shoes that hurt for a woman on the go.

1n 66 you made that leap to marry a lovely man.
He had a style to rival your own and so your journey began.
A family would come with two little ones and a red brick house on the street.
A special place where memories were made, love warmth and food to eat.

A painting based on a photo that was taken years ago.
It fills me with so much joy and love in ways you’ll never know.
A goddess a queen a fashionistas dream your my idol my number one.
I create my art with you in my heart- Jean Jones Jean Jones my mum.

Holly Smith (2018)

Henriette Reason
Moving As One

Fluid acrylics $950

Life as a person, be it woman or man, is like a dance. There has
to be a partnership, a leader, a follower - though the roles do not always stay constant - they can change back and forth. There has to be trust, a feeling from the heart, love and comradeship.
This painting shows how women and men compliment each other, both being strong and independent at times, but coming together in harmony. How they fit together as two halves creating a whole. The vibrancy and bright colours in this painting shows the joy and passion I have for both dance and painting. This was a slightly
new process for me. The paint is very fluid acrylics which has
been poured and dribbled on to the canvas and then moved around by blowing through a rubber tube. It was challenging and unpredictable, but very enjoyable and I am extremely pleased with the outcome.

Rhonda Bunyan
Names will never hurt you?

Painted mannequin $2700

Name calling and shaming has been a part of our culture for millennia. Whilst name shaming has been used by both sexes it is predominately men who tag women to belittle, control, judge and abuse them.
Name-calling is one of the most damaging and painful types of bullying. It leaves victims with negative messages about who they are and insidiously erodes their intrinsic sense of self, especially in young girls. It’s also harmful because name-calling and shaming attempts
to define us as women. Over time, name-calling and other insults slowly eat away at self-esteem and the victim no longer sees herself realistically.
Implying a woman is sexually loose may be ridiculously archaic but remains a potent, and highly effective tool to dissemble her and her credibility. It is dirty and it works.
There is still no male equivalent of ‘slut-shaming’; the implication that if a female is promiscuous she is of low morals, a bit grubby and less than virtuous is only hung around the necks of women. Our male counterparts are often congratulated for their ‘sexual prowess’ and ‘conquests’.
Value is still associated with women who are ‘virtuous, chaste, moral’.

My work: The torso carries words used to bully, denigrate, control and judge. The good girl/bad girl syndrome, is used by society to define our gender role from the time we are born.
Other parts of the body carry messages of encouragement and hope and purport that women are strong, capable, and while some of us may need more support than others, depending on circumstances, we have it within ourselves to be fierce proponents and champions of one another and not be victims.
One leg carries the names of strong women in my family, both living and past. The names are attached by strong green vines ascending from Papatuanuku to ‘Mana Wahine’.
One foot (no significance to the body part intended) congratulates the men who ‘get it’, who are aware of gender inequality, and support women in their quest for liberty in all facets of life.
My message to women is that YOU ARE ENOUGH, that you are perfect just as you are. Hang out with people who build you up and don’t want to constantly pull you down from the pedestal that is rightfully yours. You don’t have to ‘burn your bra’ but you can certainly be the BEST YOU. The women who have made meaningful change in this world have stepped out in faith and a belief that they can make a difference.
Look how far we’ve come in the last 100 years! We’ve dripped blood, sweat and tears to get to where we are and we still have a long way to go. We will link our arms in SISTERHOOD and march on to our common goal. I AM WOMAN!

Leeann Rapira

Acrylic on plastic $250

When I was young, I didn’t think about being a girl, I just accepted it to be true; the body bits were there and I did feel girly. When playing outside with my brothers and cousins, being female didn’t enter my head, I mucked in because everything they could do, I could do too. That was until I was told, I couldn’t because... ‘you’re a girl’. While being a teenager and going through that gushy period, I began to read boys’ minds. I could see what they thought. Needless to say, it’s a very powerful thing.

As I got older, I realised being female was much more complex. I could be feminine and soft but also channel the ‘he-man’, direct no-nonsense approach. Nurturing came easy as a single mum; being a disciplinarian 24/7, a different matter. So, I swung from the he/ she role-playing mode whenever necessary and by doing so became better equipped at doing life.
#Cleo acknowledges gender identity. It affirms and confirms the mixing of the sexes. Whether it’s a snapshot of a moment, a thought, a desire, it rejoices in the girl/boy, he/she story twist. #Cleo is art without judgement at a time when gender equality and gender neutrality is on the increase worldwide.
I am of Te Āti Awa, Ngāruahine and Ngāpuhi descent.

Sally Hikaka
Ipu Whenua – Kahikatea

Hue, harakeke & muka, soil, kahikatea seedling, greywacke pebble POA

i am woman

i am open
i am resilient
i am fragile

i can be damaged

i will hold you
i will laugh with you
i will cry with you

i can carry you

i will nurture you though you may not be mine
i will accept you & you will have a place in my heart
& when you leave i will always cry

i am finite
i am imperfect
i am doing what i can

& when i’m gone there will be others
& our stories will combine
& they will be whispered by the wind

November 2018

Jacki Berry
Tupuna Kuia

Acrylic on Canvas $282

Tupuna kuia
I come from a long line of strong women.
My strengths come from them.
My well-being of life.
My motivation to strive.
My boundaries are strong.
My tupuna guide and surround me with unconditional love.
I vibrate my positive energies to create a better world for me and my family.
I love the person I am.
I am women of the future.
I am me.

Bonita Bigham
Hine E Hine

Spray paint, paper $480

Kia ora.
This work celebrates five living generations of female descendants of my mother Hinewaito (91 years old) down to Arihia, the newest addition to our whānau, who at the time of this exhibition is
just one month old and is Hinewaito’s first biological great, great granddaughter. Into the mix are three male whānau members through whom the next generations of females have been born. Hinewaito is the central figure for all of us, the pou from which we radiate, the source of our connection, our common denominator. The use of the triangular geometric patterns in this work reflects my passion for tāniko weaving, a predilection inherited through my matriarchal lineage, but it also references mana wāhine by aligning with the strength of the triangular form and knowing that above and below and either side of us we are surrounded by strong, loving, caring independent women.
Maunga Taranaki also strongly features symbolically as an influence and geographic anchor for our whānau.
The arrangements of the tāniko patterns creates a specific language which depicts the generations, the matriarchal and patriarchal lines through which the females have come into our whanau, either as uri (descendants) or whāngai (adopted/fostered children). The use of strong colours is a nod to our collective love of things bright, beautiful and blingy – another inherited trait from Hinewaito.
The cutting of the patterns is a deeper literal and figurative reference to the many ways in which we as women are cut, from the separation of our new baby from her mother to Hinewaito’s hip replacement at nearly 90 years. There is pain in being a wāhine, but through the pain comes joy, renewal and fortitude.
Kia kaha wāhine mā, I am woman!
Mouri ora.

The Legacy of Seven Generations

Hana Taukawa
Doris Potohaka
Rita Rangiwhaiao
Karyl and Vivienne

This is a narrative of seven generations of women on my maternal side. In the beginning I thought this story began with my Great-Grandmother Parekawhia. However, if her entrance into this world on the day she was delivered had been different, it is highly possible I wouldn’t be telling this story.

– Vivienne

​Hana Taukawa
d – 1880

In the year of 1880 Hana Taukawa; my great- great-grandmother, gave birth to a little girl, Parekawhia. Hana Taukawa passed away on this day and so it is very important to acknowledge her.

1880 – 4th August 1943

In those days there were no bottles to feed babies so Parekawhia was given to a mother in Normanby, who was nursing her own baby.
This continued until Parekawhia was six months old, where I’m told the surrogate mother no longer had enough milk to feed two babies.
At this point her father took her to a Convent in Wellington, (my mum’s words. However, others have said it could have been a Convent up the Whanganui River.) There she was given her milk with a spoon. She lived at the Convent till age 16, all the while being taught the important skills of home-making; to cook, clean, sew, mend, knit and to crochet... to wash clothes by hand with nothing less than three rinses. Parekawhia was also taught the value of gardening and to preserve food for the larder to be used in the winter months. Painting and wallpapering were other valuable skills.

All these skills she passed on to her daughters. At the age of 16 she eloped with my great-grandfather and over time gave birth to 12 babies; sadly some did not survive. Dorie Potohaka, my grandmother, was one of the children and her daughter Rita, my mother, was her grandparent’s whangai.
The skills and knowledge passed onto Parekawhia by the Nuns were passed on to her children and grandchildren and can be seen around the family as precious taonga, and evident in the work of the seventh generation today.
Parekawhia was trained by an English nurse to become a midwife. My mother, who shared her bed, mentioned that although they went to bed together she often woke to find herself alone in the morning. Her grandmother had been called out to deliver a baby. Parekawhia’s great-mokopuna is a practicing midwife today.

Doris Potohaka
January 19, 1899
– June 19, 1994

Kui Dorie, was the name we mokopuna knew her by. She reared 12 children and many whangai on the family farm.
The skills she learned from her mother were passed onto her daughters and sons. My mother remembers clearly pulling the fleece off a sheepskin, twisting it into yarn for her grandmother Parekawhia and mother, so they could knit a jersey for one of the children.

The boys learned to knit alongside their sisters. A winter job for the children; two would knit a sleeve each, an older sister Irene would knit the back, another the front, and Kui Dorie would do the shaping. It was always plain knitting. They all worked on the garment so that it would get it finished quicker. Honey collecting was another of her jobs. There are stories told that Dorie was the only one who was brave enough to approach the hives. Kui Dorie sewed garments out of Champion linen flour bags for the children. First she would boil the words out of the white bags, then soak and wash them till they were snowy white. These were hand-stitched into dresses and under-garments for the girls and singlets, lining of the boys’ shorts, and shirts for the boys. Nothing was ever wasted; any embellishments or buttons added to the girls’ dresses were always reused over and over again. Her garden was huge and she had an orchard of apples, plums and pears and most of the fruit was cooked and preserved. She taught her family and her in-laws how to preserve excess produce. This process was a family undertaking. She accommodated many other extended family members whilst bringing up her own children. When the children left home, she found time for hand-stitched work; knitting and crocheting blankets and baby clothes. Many of these are in the care of family to-day.

​Rita Rangiwhaiao
March 3, 1925

Rita has lots of memories of being taught by her mother and grandmother and she continues to work on her interests at home. Rita is still a keen gardener today at 93 years of age. She has tried new and more modern techniques such as cross stitch, with large pieces adorning her walls; spinning, embroidery, lacemaking, pottery, patchwork and rug-making for the floor. Traditional weaving with harakeke was a struggle for her but she is still an expert at taniko and is working on a piece this day, using jute and wool. Rita is an avid reader and writes with a steady hand and in tiny print. We much younger ones often comment that we all require glasses and she has no use for them. She continues to take an interest in our family Marae; and keeps abreast of national affairs and has many debates on the negatives and positives of the systems.
I often wonder how she copes with the fast progress of today’s society as she has no tolerance of waste of any kind. She is a great recycler. She continues to pull down jerseys to reknit, buys men’s trousers made out of good quality material. These Rita remodels to fit her.
I do remember when she was pregnant with my youngest brother; she had a saying when I asked her what she making; ‘I’m making something new out of something old’ and with this she created a whole new wardrobe for our youngest brother.

February 6, 1947

Karyl was born in a time where she and I learned to explore new arts and crafts in our adult life. Our teachings were firm in our young lives and you did it right the first time and this created a standard of high competency within our work. Karyl has taught her daughter Meredeigh to knit, crochet, cross stitch and the skill of preserving which she has, in turn, passed on to own her daughter, Rebekkah, keeping the home and family warm and fed. She has a lovely garden with lots of pretties in it.
Besides knitting, crocheting, sewing and preserving, she has ventured into other interests such as hardhanger, cross stitch, paper crafts; for example scrapbooking, card making and mixed media. Her ability to evolve her art and crafts is endless, moving from the yesteryear teachings, but never afraid to try other different techniques, to enhance her creativity.

March 22, 1997

Rebekkah is the daughter of Meredeigh; the skills she processes are not often seen today amongst her peers. Times have changed dramatically. These skills, taught to her by her grandmother Karyl and mother Meredeigh, are being lost due to our fast lives, employment and disposable commodities. Rebekkah has continued to evolve and learn new skills with her farm employment and is now working alongside male counterparts. This would never been considered back in the day of Parekawhia.

January 3, 1975

Meredeigh’s first teacher was her mum Karyl, teaching her to knit, crochet and to hand stitch. Her first cross stitch piece was made at age of four. The yellow duck on a blue background remains in her care today and is on display here. She makes her own tomato sauces and chutneys; her gravies are homemade and never come out of packet. Meredeigh is a professional lady who has time in her life for many other interests.

March 17, 1950

I am the second daughter of Rita and three years younger than my sister Karyl. I too have enjoyed learning home-making skills; my first knitted jersey was made at the age of six. I have no doubt my mother picked it up after I had gone to bed to add a few lines so that it grew faster. Although I continue to do all of the above my passion has lead me to customary Maori weaving.

My first teacher in taniko was my mother using jute and wool. Although I became confident in the technique I wanted more so my mother’s younger sister took me to another elderly Aunty which began a journey in traditional weaving in muka. I went anywhere to learn more. I travelled to Hawera to pick a trailer-load of harakeke from my family’s marae, then returned home and practised. I found that the history and context of my work only enhanced the final piece and I always wanted to learn and develop my skills further. I still knit, crochet and garden and, on occasion, will attempt different things, but it is raranga that holds my passion.

The value of techniques and skills passed down through so many generations is something to be noted and acknowledged. For six generations the skills that Parekawhia were taught by the Nuns have been retained and handed down in various forms. Even though some of the techniques have changed, the basic skills, principles and work ethics remain the same and continue strongly into the 2018. Blankets, pillowcases and other hand-crafted treasures can be found in different homes of my family, some dating back 100 years, other pieces are not as old but still very precious.

Nga mihi atu ki oku Tupuna Kuia, kua wehi i te po. Me oku whaene, tuakana, tona kotiro me mokopuna hoki. 1880 - 2018

Janette Theobald

Mixed assemblage NFS
Kindly offered as a raffle with proceeds going to Taranaki Women's Refuge. 

#she carries a lot of baggage
#she’s a baggage
#old bag
#bag lady syndrome
#emotional baggage

Have you ever looked into a lady’s handbag? In NZ today, a woman is seldom seen without some sort of bag- maybe a briefcase, a sports bag, a nappy bag, an evening bag. A bag is synonymous with a woman. The contents of the bag change over time, but often hold a cacophony of competing themes all at the same time-kids, partners, work, study, health, education, welfare, beauty , money, travel...

Check your bag.
Leave the bag behind.
Sort it.
See if you are carrying someone else’s baggage.
Organise it.
Rationalise it.
Let someone else carry the bag!
Empty some of the contents out.
Get some wheels for it!
Shrink it.
And don’t forget the invisible baggage either...

Dale Copeland
Self Portrait 5, 40, 72

Collage $320 $160 (unframed)

I thought I might have broken my hand punching through boards at Taekwon-do. I had it xrayed and was so excited when I saw the image I forgot all about the sore hand, and begged for them to send me the image.
I love it. With my gold thumb ring completely opaque, it looks as though it’s floating above the hand. The only halo I’ll ever have!
So the old hand is holding a memory of a joyful life, while the solemn child disappears into the past.
Ain’t life grand?

Wendy Johnstone

Printed background, machine and hand stitching $250

I was inspired by a black and white photo and a story of my grandmother’s cousins, Agnes and Ruth Galpin. Agnes, aged 24, signed the suffrage petition along with their mother, but Ruth, aged 20, was not eligible. However, it was Ruth who was asked to accompany their friend Rachel Thomas and a Miss Heath on a trip to collect signatures. Ruth was adept at driving a horse and buggy and on May 17 1893, they set out to drive from Tutaenui to Wanganui and up to Eltham.
They were away a month and returned with a laden buggy on a cold, wet and snowing winter’s day. These petitions were then taken to Wellington to join all the others.
My grandmother was a strong woman and although we didn’t see a lot of her, as she lived in Auckland, she was a great influence in my life and her love of stitching seems to have come through. I believe that the tenacity shown throughout that side of the family has been passed on to me as throughout my life many decisions and things I have achieved has surprised even myself.

Sue Imhasly

Merino wool, Austrian Bergschafwool, wet felted $625

Balance. How to find it, even though it is constantly changing?
For me this is the biggest challenge of being a woman in today’s society. It is not so much about fighting for equality like previous generations had to.
I never felt a great disadvantage of being a woman while growing up and entering adulthood. I had the opportunity to study and work at what I wanted and I could decide how and with what I wanted to spend my time. All my opportunities in life were made possible by the generations of women before me who fought for equality.
I realised what being a woman really meant when I started my own family as the number of responsibilities grew. As a woman with a family I need to take care of all the aspects of life for each of my family members. Health, nutrition, social life, mental and emotional wellbeing, parenting and the relationship with my partner. Next to all that I am supposed to look after the household, earn money and - somewhere under the mountain of all these responsibilities - I need to take care of myself, my needs and follow my dreams and aspirations in order to stay happy and energetic. This can be so easily forgotten under the pressure of all the responsibilities.
The challenge in my life is to find the balance between the constantly changing circumstances. At times some parts of my responsibilities ask for more attention than others, it is up to me to realize which ones need me more. I am continuously trying to achieve a balance to keep the wellbeing of the microcosm family. My piece ‘Balance’ reflects this everchanging state of equilibrium.

Sarah Buist Untitled

fabric, wood, perspex $1300

thread bare

the body laid bare
the structure revealed
stripped back
bare bones
the surface scraped

invisible detritus
no rebuild

change of state
nothing to hide

subtracting to abstract

Isla Fabu

Fibre $972

I am Woman, I am Spin Artist, I am not separate!
When I spin a yarn, I am connected with every single spinner in the world - past, present and future. Most of them are women who have been doing work of utmost importance for humanity while spinning every single thread by hand, not only for useful and beautiful garments but for sails, tools, arts and so much more.
As females we are inclusive by nature and as spinners we are in a close relationship with our fibre plants and animals. Intertwined we continue creating the thread for the fabric of life, often quietly, sometimes unnoticed or even invisible - yet never without power. Eight drawings are hiding in this piece, capturing seven women and one man, spinners from different times and all over the world - including myself. They are spun into paper yarn together with eight plant and animal fibres commonly used in different parts of the world (Cotton, Wool, Linen, Silk, Muka, Alpaca, Mohair, Angora). The yarn is stored on spindle sticks. These simple tools have been used for spinning fibres since the early history of humankind and are still valued companions in many cultures all over the planet. With this piece I am honouring all beings who have made it possible for me to have a voice as a woman and a Spin Artist. I‘d like to highlight those who have not been in the spotlight, yet contributing their part for a fair world, peacefully and intertwined

Wendy Zelt
Strong and Proud to be a Woman

Collage $135

This collage is dedicated to my mother and women of her era, the 1940’s. I also wanted to pay homage to our suffragette sisters for their contribution to our lives as women.
I wrote famous suffragette names on paper, photocopied it and tore the papers up and glued them to the board as a background. My reasoning for this was because life was like that for women; always taking the back seat whilst men dominated their whole being. Women were victorious winning the vote, but in the 40’s women still were still fighting against the way society viewed them and how women viewed themselves.
My collage refers to the way women lived in the 40’s. For my mother it was a life of drudgery, cooking, cleaning, and taking care of a sick mother from the age of 13. Women in that time were encouraged to leave school, find a job, get married young, and have children and continue with the life of domesticity.
My mother wanted more out of life but loved taking care of her children even when times were tough financially. She was a matriarch in our street with mothers and children often in and out of our house whilst she helped them through tough times.
She was an ‘unofficial’ nurse and psychiatrist for those who were in need.
Mum went back to work in the 60’s, almost unheard of in her generation where women were encouraged to be the ‘good’ wife and mother.
She wanted a better future for her daughters and encouraged education and was a feminist in many ways. Her proudest moments were when her daughters and son became successful in their chosen careers.
I think my mother was ‘liberated’ when my dad died as she began a completely new life; playing bowls, joining a church and meeting with other like-minded ladies and gentlemen. She worked in a second-hand shop for the church, making her famous crocheted ponchos, until she was 90. She loved life and made up for the years she had missed out on.
Sadly, mum passed away on the June 10 this year, but not without passing on her knowledge of life to her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Margaret Scott
Reflections of my Origins

Mixed media on canvas, Guest NFS

Jean Manson was my great-great-grandmother. She is an inspiration to me as she came to New Zealand in 1842 on the ship Thomas Harrison with her husband Samuel Manson and their two children as servants for the Dean Brothers. On the voyage Jean had another child.
In Riccarton, Christchurch Samuel Manson, a skilled carpenter and builder, built the first European house in Canterbury. Three families lived in this tiny house.
Jean and Samuel then took on farming in Lyttleton, with Jean milking the cows and making their very famous butter and cheese, while Samuel continued to build houses for the early settlers.
Jean had 17 children and also managed a large household.
It is amazing to me how she could leave her home and travel to the other side of the world to encounter the unknown hardships that they would have faced in those early years.
Her strength of character,endurance in the face of adversity, and courage to rise up to these challenges makes me humble to be her ancestor.

Kris White
Enda and Beryl Party with Len

Acrylic, wallpaper & foil on canvas $1250

My inspiration for ‘Enda & Beryl Party With Len’ is taken from an old photograph of my Nana Enda and her sister Beryl. This is coupled with my love of creating paintings that show off the shadows of the Len Lye Centre.
As a child, every second weekend I traveled on the back of Dad’s ute, early on a Saturday morning, under warm blankets, with my older brother and younger sister from Tawa to my Nana’s home in Paraparaumu. A quick hello to Nana as we arrived and then we raced down to the beach. Nana yelled ‘Don’t forget to bring driftwood home for the fire’. The beach was only two blocks from Nana’s house. Kāpiti Island was always a pleasing sight for us. Our family friends farmed over on the island and Nana’s brother Jim was a well known fisherman in the area.

Nana would sometimes take us to the beach and set the flounder net. She would be thigh-deep in the water at one end of the net and she would yell at us to drag the net along the beach. We struggled a bit, but Nana was strong as an ox.

Whitebaiting down the river with Nana was pretty boring but we would play on the sand dunes. Nana would fill her old kerosene can to the brim. Her cat would turn his nose up at the whitebait when she filled his bowl. Nana made the best whitebait fritter I’ve ever had!!! Nana had a fantastic vege garden. She loved baby potatoes and I remember, in the dark of the night, Nana lifting us kids over the neighbour’s fence to tickle their potatoes.

Most school holidays were spent with Nana. Nana loved taking us to the local dump where we discovered all sorts of treasures.

Nana’s car had a bucket front seat and no seatbelts. Us kids would pile in the front. Sometimes our cousins would be with us too. Nana was a bit crazy behind the wheel and would have us all leaning into the corners. Suddenly flashing lights and a loud siren was behind us. Nana slammed on the breaks and I hit my head on the dashboard. This was Nana’s first speeding ticket. She tried flirting with the local bobby but he said he had been trying to catch her before, as other people had complained about her driving. Nana said ‘don’t tell your father’... but how was I going to explain my bump on my head!!!
As a child our grandparents are the best. My Nana, Enda Lillian White, was so much fun. I have a framed picture of her and her sister Beryl hanging in my hallway. It was taken in the 1920’s. Nana was about 18 at the time and was dressed up to go to a vice–versa party. As Nana didn’t have a boyfriend she went as the female and her sister went as the male. They look so innocent but I have been told Nana loved to party!!! I wanted to do a collaboration of my passion of painting the Len Lye Centre and the love grandmother showed to me as a child. To me, like art, my Nana and Len Lye give me inspiration to paint as they both had a passion for living life to the fullest and doing what they loved... spending time with family and being creative !!!

Carina McQueen Soul Balance

Oil on canvas $780

Our women are brave and strong, with an amount of self-reliance and freedom from conventionalities eminently calculated to form a great nation. Give them scope. At present their grasp and power of mind is ‘cribbed, cabined, and confined’ to one narrow groove. It is weakened and famished by disuse, and only a close observer can detect the latent force, the unspent energy lying dormant in many seemingly ordinary characters’.
By ‘Femmina’ (Mary Ann Müller), from her pamphlet published in 1869 ‘An appeal to the Men of New Zealand’.
The need for women to be heard, acknowledged and appreciated is still as relevant today as it was during the suffrage movement. However, for me the battle is also an internal one. How do I juggle and maintain the everyday commitments and tasks of being a mum, wife, daughter, sister and positive happy individual? Painting, creativity and art is my escape, quiet, refocus... Balance.

Gaye Atkinson
& Me Three

Acrylic $395

& Me Three, sees today’s woman confidently emerging through the mist of 125 years of inequality. Years when her sisters’ messages and accomplishments were systemically muffled by stereotyping and suppression.
Past decades have increasingly produced courageous women finding the voice to confront that unfairness.
Within family and church hierarchy, unequal wage parity in work and sport, dangerous, experimental health treatment, racial prejudice and, worst of all, in order to ‘progress’ - sexual exploitation. Now her message is becoming loud and clear across the globe.
No more, the time has come!


Margaret Foley
Always a Welcome

Pottery $80

Wasn’t it great when we all had time to spend with our girlfriends, when our besties would pop into our home and share a cuppa, often unannounced, knowing the door was always open and a compassionate ear at the ready. You’d stop whatever you were doing and fill the kettle. Relationships and friends were important back then. We would sit and chat with the teapot brewing and a few home-made biscuits on a plate in the middle of the table. Our chats, never gossip, could fill an hour or more; kids’ capers, our hubbies, what they did and didn’t get right, our health and women’s complaints, the latest new recipe, our mothers-in-law, births, deaths and marriage and, of course, sharing my latest pottery project. As the world has got busier and free time is at a premium those days have slipped away. Now it’s finding a spare few minutes to sit in a noisy café with a flat white and not much time to listen. I miss those days. But please remember, for you my dear friends, the door is always be open and the kettle full.

Alice Cowdrey
The Moon

Felting $350

Alice Cowdrey is a textile artist who lives near Okato.
She loves the versatility and texture of wool and enjoys making pieces of art as well as brooches and dolls.
Wool has connotations of warmth and comfort and in her piece ‘The Moon’, she depicts herself; a 36-year-old mother, artist and writer.
Being a woman brings with it many roles and duties and standing outside at night under the full moon, Alice depicts the darkness and uncertainty that comes with this.
There are many flowers, however, and she holds these close to her heart.

Lois Parkes
Battle Maiden

Mixed Media $190

My first name LOIS means ‘Battle Maiden’, which became the inspiration for this wall hanging. It is made from belts to imitate a battle maiden’s skirt of armour and it symbolises all my personal life battles.
Whether emotional, physical or financial, the battles we fight throughout our lives slowly weigh us down. The black colour of the belts is the darkness of the power these battles can hold over us. Woman of many cultures throughout history have fought in battle alongside the men. Today, our battles come in different guises. They may be relationship issues, financial hardship, sexuality identity, job demands, physical and emotional voilence or family conflict. Just as we are all unique individuals, so too are our own personal battles.
The decorative belt at the top represents the hope which overcomes and overides the negativity these battles have on our very being. The goodness and positivity of hope must prevail over evil and darkness of adversity.
As woman, we must keep up the fight against life’s battles and challenges. We must not allow others to control or abuse us and we must be true to ourselves. Get help and support each other, after all, we are all sisters in a common bond. This is my mantra for all woman living in the modern world, and this art piece is a metaphor and reminder of this.

Yvonne Geeraedts
The Cycle

Mixed Media $180

The cycle, after a challenging start in life. I emigrated in the mid 80’s from Europe and spread my little insecure wings leaving my family at the other end of the world. Feeling surprised they stayed in my heart forever. I was unaware of a biological clock ticking inside me.

I discovered a new freedom and a huge love for nature, tranquillity and gardening. I married, raised children and watched them fly out. In the meantime, I tried to follow my own heart, finding myself, in a roller coaster process, becoming spiritual with a sense of inner peace and discovering unconditional love. Now watching the cycle all over again.

Jennifer Patterson
Even in Darkness A Woman will Shine

Rusted Organza $380

The Suffrage movement was strong and
Kate Sheppard paved the way
For woman to vote and have governance today.
Being a woman has great appeal
It is easy to express how you feel.
You can do this with emotion or a word
People will acknowledge it with accord.
Leadership and self expression
Can be granted without suppression
And into the above you can make a decision
Which gives the right to have a revision.
With nurturing by fathers and mothers,
grandparents, aunts and others
their involvement in the early years
can reduce the impact of unpleasant fears.
To be confident in taking ownership of your life
You can build a career reducing strife.
And this self-expression as a woman is very powerful
By using imagination to be colourlful.
As they say there is an artist’s licence
Whereby ideas and twinking can create a silence.
But in the end, even in times of dark
A woman most definitely has a certain spark
That becomes evident as a they grow
It can’t be denied a woman will always glow
So thanks to Emily way back then
To have the courage to take on the men.

Janine Bower

Sculpture, mixed media $1300

Labelled Tomboy,
Ready for battle, ready to destroy.
Moving on to the outside wold,
Vulnerability unfurled.
How to fit in, like a cog broken,
Whispers in my head, words unspoken.
Destructive love wearing me thin,
Leaving its mark like ink under skin.
A golden Boy born an outcast,
Love and happiness for him at last.
Working hard, striving for perfection
Unrealized dreams upon reflection.
A tranquil setting created from sweat on brow,
Inspiration it does allow.
Music and art a joyful outlet,
Finally contented,
The Sad Reject.

Mikaela Nyman
Cipher Negated

Woodcut print and hand-lettered poem $475

Our bodies are complex ciphers. A site of life can easily turn into a site of malignant growth. Female hysteria was once a common medical diagnosis for women, linked to insanity, best ‘fixed’ with asylum or hysterectomy. The word ‘hysterical’ continues to belittle women’s emotional expressions, while our bodies remain captives of the male gaze, including those parts and functions that are not readily visible to the eye.
Women may have won the right to vote but we are still striving for an egalitarian society where women and men are equally valued. Equity also means affordable, accessible healthcare for all, regardless of gender, ethnicity, age or income.
This work explores my sister’s death from a rare cancer encapsulated in a secret fold of her body. Following in the footsteps of generations of women, the tactile and organic woodcut is here combined with the art of writing poetry by hand.

Brigitte Calloway

Porcelain sculpture $150

A very old proverb in the culture I was born in says ‘the success of a child starts in the moment their mother was born’. As mothers, we are charged with modeling the future.
As wives, we stand behind our men, helping them conquer the world. We change destinies by serving fellow humans. In some cases, we are happy to stay behind the scene; in others, we may never live long enough to witness the results of our hard work. Have you ever wondered what drives us and what rewards us? We were created to be goddesses. We came from a long line of strength, power and tolerance. We believe in eternal happiness. We may have blueprints with dual qualities as Athena, the patron of heroic endeavor, and Pax, the patron of peace, but, in essence, we bring happiness wherever we are.
I believe that our strength as women starts with finding our own inner peace, which raises our consciousness and connects us to the higher self. I also believe that peace is a unique quality that comes with patience, time and experience. As a clinical hypnotherapist, I know that peace doesn’t start in the brain and doesn’t finish in the heart. As an artist, I surrender to personal values and truth. As a woman, I manifest happiness.
My work ‘Peace’ attempts to symbolize the goddess that stays in all women. Some may see it as a female Buddha, others as a native warrior. For me, however, this sculpture brings together calm, love and peace, the qualities given to us by the mighty universe in the moment we first opened our eyes to life.

Debbie Dawson
Wrapped in Love

Merino wool (washable) $130

The ‘I am Woman’ exhibition has given me the opportunity to design and knit my own piece for the first time. A very different experience from using a commercial knitting pattern!
I decided to design a shawl as they provide comfort and warmth, both of which can be woven into every stitch through the knitting process. My inspiration for the actual design came from the suffrage colours of purple, green and white and how these could portray my journey through life as a woman.
The different coloured stripes represent the many different people we meet who influence us and help mould us into the women we are.

We walk side by side with our parents, friends, partners and workmates throughout our lives and can either decide to follow them based on their advice or ideals or to go in a different direction. There are certain times in our lives where we support others or they support us and these are depicted by the reversible two colour brioche throughout the shawl. The lace panels are the times where we are either on our own or are learning new things through experimentation. We learn by putting all the pieces together in the correct order, but can sometimes wrap ourselves in knots or go off on tangents. Finally the border binds together all of these experiences and gives us a solid foundation to continue on our journey.

Dorothy Andrews
Complexities of Womanhood

Human hair NFS

Being a young woman in the early 1960’s in England my choices were; to do well at school and then climb a cliff face to become who I wanted to be, or do what most women did; factory, shop or office with the ultimate goal of marriage and children. There were few inbetweens, few good role models and no encouragement. Now women can be who they want to be and the choices are endless. There is still a hill to climb to reach the top but it is attainable with hard work, as the great women of our time have proved. But in spite of ‘liberation’ we are still bombarded with stereotypical images of who we ought to be and what we should look like.
Being a woman is far more complex than lipstick and hair dye. Womanhood is a state of mind and a feeling from within to be celebrated, embraced and shared.

For more information about the artworks in this mini gallery, check out Gallery 2.

Gayleen Schrider
I am Woman

Textiles, wool $280

I Am Woman

I am the light of life,
the seed of birth,
And the fruit of water, air and earth
nourishing the tree of life.

I cleanse my house
and shed my clothes,
the stitched fabrics of my persona.
I sweep my yard into order
before cooking up new beginnings.

I seek the keys to consciousness
and enter through the doors to spiritual awakening.
In the unknown beyond lies my future.
My bareskinned feet ground my soul to this earthly life.

I burn passionately hot
and dance in red shoes under the stars,
and howl with the wolves
at the waxing and waning moons.

My creativity flows with the rivers, clear and pure
I am the bird, collecting and picking the bones clean.
Life, death, life
The soul-spirit is indestructible.
My stories flow as I whirl like the winds,
Red, black, white,
Birth, life, death.

I am mother, daughter, sister,
I am the past, the present and the future,
I am woman,
I am woman.

Inspired by
Women Who Run With The Wolves,
by Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Joni Murphy
Matres Nostrae Hortus

Watercolour $760

This series of works explores memories of childhood and experiences of motherhood. Memories of time spent in my Mother and Grandmother’s gardens have deeply shaped my experiences today.
Tenderly caring for the new plants in Spring, watching them grow through the Summer to flower and fruit, bearing nourishment for the body and soul. Harvesting food and herbs to feed our families has been an important ritual and one that I continued for my own family.
I love watercolour; the flow and movement of colour which is unpredictable and, at times uncontrollable, excites me and gives each piece something of its own unique personality. Watercolor and ink allows me to create paintings filled with transparent layers and shining light.
I am also attracted to the feminine qualities of watercolour. The water element of femininity, the unpredictable and intuitive nature of working with this medium. There is a sense of connection to history of female artists, being it is a medium traditionally used by women and considered a ‘ladies medium’ during the Victorian era. I also find this old-fashioned notion very amusing.

Penelle Froggat
Colours Of My World

Acrylic $550

When I look at my painting this is what it means to me:
I look at the black and grey lady which represents my depression and how all the colours around you get taken from you, until all have left is a black and grey world.
It’s a pretty scary place to live in; seeing no beauty and life in anything.
But as much as it is scary, I’m glad I had to fight my way through it. It has taught me so much about myself as a woman. I did not know how much of a survivor I am and how much determination I had to fight to have the colours and beauty back into my life.
That is what the butterflies represent. With every hurdle I have had to overcome a new butterfly has emerged from its cocoon to bring more and more light and colour back into my world.

Vicky Lord
Opposing Forces

Acrylic on board $700

There is an element of choreography to Vicky Lord’s work, in the process and also in the final composition. Layers are scratched and rubbed back, then solid colour applied to reveal a sequence of biomorphic shapes and an interplay between positive and negative space. This process of abstracting forms, particularly botanical forms (organic by nature) is about control being applied in equal measure to letting go.
Opposing Forces, explores the notion of duplicity; the contrast between the persona we share with the world and inner conversations that take place about who we are.
The title of the work came to Vicky one afternoon watching her sons at karate training. Opposing forces, their tutor informed, gave them increased power. His students moved in time, united in a common sequenced performance, yet each engaging with a truthful expression of themselves.
Similarly, in this work, masculine and feminine sculptural qualities allude to kinetic energy across the flat surface. It is unclear if the two forms support each other, or push each other apart.
“When I think of the suffrage movement, I think of the women (and men) torn between what society thought was right and what they believed in their hearts. For many, keeping their true feelings silent would have been a battle not dissimilar to the fight played out in parliament, town halls, churches and living rooms throughout our nation.”
Opposing Forces, like many of Vicky’s works invites us in, holds
us for a moment, then gently releases us from our thoughts once more. The dialogue between mind, hand and canvas is a record of honesty with oneself. Both the artist and work tell us, “It’s ok to be me in this world. Do not ‘quite’ an expression of yourself. From within comes an unsuspecting beauty. This beauty is truth.”

Margaret Street
Ms Willendorf

Ceramic clay, acrylic paints $60

This refers to the famous Willendorf Venus which accentuates all the physical fertility aspects of woman. In the originals there is no detailed face but I have given her one and turned her head so the observer will not see her expression and can safely ignore it. Yes, she says, I am a fertitily goddess with all the power that suggests. You can see me as representing a power, with no individuality, fine, my elemental being, or you can see me as a person as well. We are two of the many aspects of life after all. Notice my left arm is in a David like pose. Ha! Am I smart or not? The gods have a sense of humour too.

Coral Dolan
Complex Fragment I

Bronze $1100

The overarching theme in my work has been the Sacred Feminine, Gaia, Papatuanuku, or Sun Mother. This can be seen through the partial or simplification of women’s bodies that pervades my work, and looks at identity and location and how these impact the idealised societal standards of the female body.
Evident in my sculptured faces and bodies, that while initially perfect, now bare the marks and scars along with the inevitable disintegration of decline and decay revealed in their melted and disrupted idealised form.
These fragments of weathered faces reflect, as we enter the 21st Century, on the slow progress of equality. Seen in political, social and technological circles and, despite many government-backed programmes designed to close the gap, the reality is women are under-represented. In many countries of the world they still have no voice.
How long is the fight? The statistics are sobering.
Women’s representation in Australia’s parliaments barely makes the ‘critical mass’ of 30 percent regarded by the United Nations as the minimum level necessary for women to influence decision- making in parliament.
Women who work in computer and mathematical occupations make 84 cents to every dollar a man earns.
In New Zealand the gender pay gap still sits at over 9 percent. The Public Service Association is trying to close a 15 percent salary gap. Around Jacinda Ardern’s cabinet table there are just five women ministers. Forty percent of the country’s MPs are women. In the top 50 listed companies in New Zealand, women make up just 19 percent of directors.

Hayley Elliot-Kernot
The Rise Of Woman

Oil $1500

For me the women’s suffrage movement and feminism represent both choice and opportunity.
My sister is an accountant and I am an artist. We have the choice to be what we are and have had the opportunities to become so. 100 years ago, women like me would not have had that choice or that opportunity, I am grateful for the women who fought so long and hard so that future generations, like myself, would not be restricted or oppressed.
Many see feminism as something harsh, where women are trying to be like men. This is not what feminism is; feminism for me is simply about equality and the choice for women to be what they wish. A woman can be a mother, can look after the home and still be a feminist. In the same way a politician can be a feminist, it is simply about allowing women to have choice and opportunity.
I wanted to portray this in the painting, the woman is still soft, still feminine. She is held by chains that oppress her but the key is around her neck, representing that it is only women themselves who can change their futures.


Anna Korver
Basalt Figure

Sculpture $2500

Basalt Figure is part of a series; indicative of Korver’s signature figurative works. They are intentionally very still and reflective on an internal feeling of balance, literally as well as thematically. Using the hard and soft forms to balance the masculine and feminine sides of the figure with a stillness and slight tension invoking a sensation of caution not to underestimate the purpose of this work; the basalt is a contradiction, hard yet delicate, dark in colour but with a soft skin like texture.

Beth Pottinger – Hockings
I am Woman (surprise, surprise!)

Fibre–felted, stitched, quilted $355

I come from, and helped create a line of strong women... my maternal grandmother, Maidie Anderson, brought up three children and ran a dairy farm on her own in the 1930s; my mother (of seven of us), Airini Pottinger, was one of the earliest women students in the Massey (then college) Dairy Diploma. I remember well, her being vilified by some when she organised a rural women’s survey in the 1970s. The data was later presented at the Rural Women’s section of the 1975 NZ United Women’s Convention, as part of the International Women’s Year.

I was the first and only female farm advisory officer in agricultural engineering in Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries (MAF) from 1978–1982 and was at that time considered a trail blazer!
Our daughters were brought up with the ‘Girls Can Do Anything’ slogan. Tania Hockings, our youngest daughter, swam Cook Strait in tandem when she was 17. Our older daughter, Kate Hockings–Mackie is a Major in the New Zealand Army and I also have a feisty 6–year–old granddaughter, Grace Mackie.

For this piece, I knew I wanted something simple, symbolic & real. Apart from Helen Reddy’s song “I am Woman”, I was inspired by the following:

A woman is the full circle. Within her she has the power to create, nurture and transform.

Diane Mariechild

Woman I am
Woman I am.
Bleed I do.
Scars I bear.
Tolerance I need.
Voice I have.
Brave I feel.
Strong I stand.
Love I share.
Life I create.
Woman I am.

Vasiliki Katsarou

Karyn McCullough
Never Look Behind

Pottery $400

A woman’s journey from a young lady to an older adult is not always a smooth walk and can have its challenges in life. A woman has to learn to deal with whatever challenge life throws at her, whether it is an illness or depression, childbirth difficulties, relationship breakdowns or even worse, losing a child or a family member or friend, or contemplating suicide.
I thought about what I would like to make for this exhibition and I decided to be different. I wanted to make a woman’s form, but in a way I hadn’t made one before. I usually make the front view of a woman’s form. I made a plaster mould of a woman’s behind, and then made a pottery one.
Each flower represents a challenge you may face in life and encourages the woman to look for the bright side of life to gather the strength to keep going. Leave your worries and troubles behind you.
My message to all women is to be strong and always look forward. Be positive and happy.
Remember that “What’s behind you, is behind you” and to Never Look Back!

See more works in Gallery 2


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