I have felt that in the later part of this year, it has been time to look ahead, in whatever way captures your attention. Whether it be in work, whanau, lifestyle, your inner self, your loved ones, in your creative realm, dreams and reality, there is so much reflection going around on ‘the year that was’.
It has become important for me to look to what I want the future to hold, to be able to have a say in what directions I want to explore, where I might want my mahi to grow. And so the positive vibes have begun.
A few months ago I was approached by Te Awamutu Museum to run a series of workshops in January 2021. This is in relation to a current exhibition they are running ‘ Formal Fridays’, showcasing what was considered Formal wear on a particular day or event to different people through the ages from the early 19th century to present day from the collection at the museum. Which was all in a creative bounce-off from a nationwide collective response to the whole ‘going to work at home’ during Covid, whereby people started dressing up on Fridays which was started by Hilary Barry.
How do I come into this creative mix? Henriata Nicholas Exhibitions Coordinator at the museum, had met me before (through a mutual creative friend Oriwa) and knew of my creative mahi in up-cycled, repurposed fashion and costume. We had been wanting to collaborate for some time and now the time was right.
We worked on ideas for the content of the workshops and it came together as Make Do and Mend. The basis of the workshops is around formal wear, where participants can sign up for one of six workshops and make one of the following: a fascinator, re-vamp a hat, make a brooch or a cuff. The structure of Make Do And Mend stems from wartime when everything was rationed; food, materials, other goods, clothes, even knickers! People became very resourceful in recycling what they had, mending, making things last longer, re-purposing an old garment into two new ones. Using what was in their immediate environment to enable them to make things. This also aligns perfectly with my own creative ethos of re-use, re-cycle, re-purpose, re-think.
I have gathered materials from my own resources as well as scouring the op-shops, markets and 2nd hand stores, to enable me to run the workshops using 95% recycled/repurposed materials. The other 5% covers thing like the brooch back fastenings, hair-combs and head bands, pipe cleaners were sourced new.
It is exciting as I put together all the treasures for each session, thinking about all the wonderful ideas people will bring to the table, because for me running workshops is not just about the making, it is also the social interaction, the journey of learning, the creative sparks flying around the room, seeing the joy in people as they get together in a creative space.
This is just the beginning, the new year is about to start and I want to embrace it, fill it with ideas, happenings, creative dreams into reality and back again.
You could also read an interesting article on these workshops published in the Waikato News, NZ Herald