Moving Continents:Japan Blue aizome September 2019

A celebration and reflection of my time in Japan a year ago.

Keeping natural indigo dyes in all its forms and applications going is a big task for the growers. Several indigo farms in Tokushima supply 80% of the indigo for dyers and weavers.

Learning from master dyers in Okayama, Tokushima and Kurume weavers has led me to curate and make a collaborative exhibition with Hiroshi Tomihisa who I met in Kurume in 2018.

Nami waves kasuri weave.

The landscapes and rivers of Japan inspired this work early on. The train travels from place to place allow for ideas and thoughts to grow.

Water remains a key element, rainy season and typhoons. Climate change affects the rivers, streams and waterfalls. Indigo is the perfect vehicle promoting a return to slow cloth crop cultivation allows for reflections.

The fibres of Japan have also developed a unique practice as well. I became interested in asa hemp and ramie for its uses in Japan’s summer season.

Light, strong fibres that soak up the dye and add protection to the wearer, the festivals demand these characteristics and cotton for workers in daily life.

All add up to the Japanese cultural exchange and internationalisation. I added nuno NZ felt into the mix. Hoping to create a blend of uses in our own NZ environment and design motifs. The parts our parents generation knew and I hope to learn and pass on to the next generation.

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