New exhibition illustrates needlework as a global language

A new exhibition featuring childhood memories captured in a table-runner is featuring at the Morris Miller Library.

The exhibition incorporates a range of images created by one of contemporary Japan’s leading artists, Konoike Tomoko, and stitched by women from Aniai (Japan) and Hobart.

Konoike Tomoko was born in Akita, in the ‘snow-country’ of Japan’s north-west.

Her work expresses the relationship between nature, art and the force of life, particularly as played out in the four seasons of the forest.

Her strong interest in representing everyday life led to a 2014 project with stitchers in the Aniai region of Akita to create a series of ‘table-runner’ images of the area.

Aniai is a small mountain centre, subject to extreme winter temperatures and deep snowfalls, where there are vestiges of cultural practices associated with the lifestyle of the Ainu, the indigenous people of Japan.

The table-runner project asked stitchers to narrate a childhood anecdote to Ms Konoike, who created an outline image of the tale.

Stitchers were free to interpret the image as desired, resulting in a collection of extraordinary fabric scenes - ranging from snow fantasies to summer idylls in the woods.

Seeking an international dimension to the project, Ms Konoike visited Hobart in 2016 to invite local stitchers to take part.

Shōji Yūko, a well-known Akita handicraft specialist, accompanied her and led a weekend workshop.

The project resulted in the exhibition of Japanese and local scenes, illustrating needlework is a global language.

Published on: 07 Sep 2017 1:21pm