Next weekend MTG Hawke’s Bay is going embroidery crazy! Set up in the museum foyer for the weekend will be a community stitching activity, designed by Jo Dixey. Jo was one of only ten students chosen worldwide to train at the Royal School of Needlework, Hampton Court, London in the early 1990s, and went on to attain her City and Guilds qualifications. Not long after, she moved to New Zealand and set up an embroidery practice: teaching, taking on commissions and designing pieces for exhibition. Adding to her long list of accomplishments Jo has recently published her first book ‘Stitch People, a 20-project guide to modern embroidery techniques’. The book will be available for purchase through the museum shop.
Jo’s superb design for the community stitching project portrays six iconic Napier Art Deco buildings including the 1936 Hawke’s Bay Museum & Art Gallery entrance and the National Tobacco Company building, Ahuriri. This activity is designed to allow anyone from experienced stitches to beginners and those who have never tried, to add some stitches to the overall work. This is a child friendly project with easy stitches and colourful wool. Members of the Hawke’s Bay Embroidery Guild will be on hand to guide and support. Once completed, the panel will be gifted to the city through the Mayor’s office.
This project came about through a philanthropic bequest from Marian Holt, long-time champion of the Museum and keen embroiderer. Marian, a Hawke’s Bay local, attended Napier Girls High School and then trained as a nurse and midwife at the Hastings Hospital. Her nursing qualification took her all over the world. At the end of her career, Marian returned to Hawke’s Bay to retire at Puketitiri. The Marian Holt Trust, keen to honour Marian’s legacy and acknowledge her contribution to the Museum and Hawke’s Bay, approached Jo Dixey to develop a public embroidery programme. For two days, Jo researched and drew designs from a selection of embroidery work held in the Hawke’s Bay Museums Trust collection.
For embroidery enthusiasts Jo is teaching two workshops, also next weekend, with unique designs she has drawn from the textile collection. One workshop on Saturday for beginners through to advanced and is based on some of our Indian textiles. The second workshop on Sunday is designed for intermediate to advanced, and is taken from a seventeen century silk embroidery. Jo has pulled out a detail of the background scenery to make a brooch.
During Jo’s time researching the collection she was particularly interested in a rare 700AD Egyptian Coptic tapestry. Jo used this as one of her inspirations, along with other textile pieces, in the development of four different kitsets. These range from kitsets for children through to adult embroiderers and can be purchased exclusively through the museum shop.
On behalf of the Museum, we warmly invite you to come in and add some stitches to the community project. If you are interested in learning more about the art of embroidery with an excellent tutor, we highly recommend enrolling in one of Jo’s workshops. Fun and laughter guaranteed!
- Stitch at MTG Hawke’s Bay, 2-3 December. Public stitching project available all day
- Embroidery workshops with Jo Dixey, 2-3 December, 10:30am – 4pm, $50 per workshop. To book call MTG 835 7781 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Deco Kimono: From the Jack C Richards Collection, a range of beautiful silk kimono from the era of Art Deco in Japan on display now
Gail Pope – Curator, MTG Hawkes Bay
Published in the Hawke’s Bay Today 25th November 2017