Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Change in the Weather Exhibition

Work displayed from left to right is by myself, Clare Smith, Cheryl Comfort, Wendy Lugg and Clare Plug.

A Change in the Weather is an exhibition curated by Clare Smith looking at the issue of climate change. Clare's husband is a climate change scientist. The exhibition is on display at Minerva Gallery in Wellington, and will move to the Cloakroom Gallery in Queenstown for July.

These two quilts are by Ronnie Martin and JennyBowker.
These two quilts are by Sue Wademan and Gloria Loughman.
Alison Schwabe , Margery Goodall and Sue Wood also have pieces in the exhibition.
Here are the artists statements which also includes quilt prices for Minerva Gallery- if you are interested in purchasing a piece please contact Minerva Gallery direct
Statements - A Change in the Weather

MAELSTROM - Alison Schwabe
My design was developed around the cartographic symbol for cyclones/hurricanes. The dark green base colour represents The Earth. The swirl of coloured inserts represents the variety/maelstrom of scientific data and expert opinions on changing climatic phenomena, and the highly charged emotional and political atmosphere surrounding the facts and the measures needing to be implemented to ensure the survival of humanity at this critical time in the planet's history. The hand quilted grid is red, a colour associated with danger.

Acid Rain - Gloria Loughman

Burning fossil fuels, coal fired generators, and smelting furnaces produce pollutants that react with moisture in the atmosphere to become acid rain. This can have catastrophic effects on the environment, killing our forests and polluting our rivers. Using alternative energy sources such as wind, geothermal and solar will help reduce this appalling situation.

Background composed of fused and stitched rectangles. Trees machine appliquéd. Mainly hand dyed and painted cotton fabrics.

Changing Tides - Ronnie Martin
Historically many of the settlement areas of our country have been on coastal areas. This early trend has continued and now many of our cities and large towns are based in the very places which are most likely to be affected by rising water levels. I am reminded of the children's bible song about the wise man building his house upon the rockŠwhere should the wise man go now?

This piece uses both hand painted and commercial fabrics in a naïve style and simple colour way to reflect the continuing Polyanna - like attitude we have to what is really happening around us.

Wendy Lugg - Mourning Cloth
NZ $1,900

Modern civilisation has made its mark on the earth, resulting in vandalism far worse than these muddy handprints photographed on the wall of a dilapidated house. It seems unlikely that the various current attempts at makeshift repairs will be sufficient to halt the disintegration of the fabric of our world.

Vintage cloth, thread, printing ink
Printed, dyed, layered, stitched

Margery Goodall - Watching the Weather: views # 9-12

NZ $1100 (group), individual units $NZ 300 each
STATEMENT: "The beauty of the landscape in all its moods belies the underlying menace of these changing weather patterns."

View # 9 - What price a perfect day?
View # 10 - Dust storm
View # 11 - Wild fire
View # 12 - Flood watch

Purchased printed fabrics, textile inks
Machine stitch, ink painting and over-drawing on already printed fabrics

Jenny Bowker - Hot Water - Dead Sea
Aus $ 1600

At the waters of the sea increase in temperature the sea will become
more acid. Corals and molluscs will be unable to form shells and the
reefs will die. For a while at least, coelenterates like jelly fish
will fill the seas.

Cotton fabric, wool mix batting, layered appliqué, piecing.

Dijanne Cevaal - Extreme Conditions

Extreme conditions is the public face of climate change. When 7 February 2009 dawned we knew the forecast was for 47 degrees celsius, hot northerly gusting winds, a blustery south westerly change - fire danger extreme. The temperature did soar to 47 degrees celsius ( the hottest temperature in this state in white recorded history) the hot notherly wind blasted dust into the air and the southwesterly change came with mini tornadoes that unleashed branches as big as trees into the air and with only minor temperature change.It was the most frightening day I have experienced and the devastation heartbreaking. Whole towns, whole families, all gone. The fire index was 6- a never before seen index figure , it was three times higher than Ash Wednesday. The drought conditions of the last 10 years, the dried out dead fuel and rising temperatures have all contributed to a day that will continue to impact for generations.

Clare Plug - Antarctica Series: Ice Crack 6

Artist Statement:
Sea ice is a dominant feature on the Earth and much of this ice forms annually.

It effectively doubles the size of Antarctica each winter, acting as an insulating blanket, and then in early summer as a reflector of sunlight. This dynamic process means sea ice has a vital role in the balance of heat that maintains global temperatures within a comfortable range.

Scientists study this complex process as they race to understand the changes occurring in the Earth’s climate and weather systems.

Own discharge-dyed cotton fabric.
Whole cloth, machine quilted.

Cheryl Comfort - Unless

UNLESS someone like you
cares a whole awful lot
nothing is going to get better
It's not.
The Lorax
Dr Seuss

Unless we change
Unless we take responsibility
Unless it's a hoax
Unless I make a change
Unless we do it now

Sue Wood - 'The forgotten factor'.
Price: $1400

In the rural location where I live, fertile farming land shrinks under the onslaught of drought and fire. We debate the causes and we debate about what to do, but we don't talk any more about the impact of an exponentially increasing world population. How many people is too many?

Sue Wademan - 'Weather Patterns'
Our planet earth, as well as each of the other planets in our solar system, has warmed by about 1
ƒF over the last 100 years and we call this global warming.
Why this is happening has sparked a huge debate. Some scientists think it is a natural occurrence, that over millions of years the cycle from hot to cold and back again has happened many times, but others think that it is the intervention of human endeavours which has put the planet in peril.
One thing's for sure, the climate shift has effected
'a change in the weather' & the 'weather patterns'.
My art quilt shows some of these patterns. The lines represent coastal inundation; the snowdrop shapes show the icicles in the atmosphere; the droplets of water denote how precious our water is on planet earth and the stitch lines indicate the heavy rain we seem to be having.

Irrigation - Clare Smith
As I flew over South Africa a few years ago I was surprised to see large polka dots across a dry dusty valley. It took a while for me to work out that those circles were caused by irrigation. If we don't make major efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the earth warms the predicted 2-4 C by the end of this century then parts of the earth will become drier and we will have to turn more and more to irrigation, but this causes problems too.
Salination of the soil due to irrigation is already a problem in parts of Australia. Irrigation of cotton crops in Russia has already led to the drying up of the Aral Sea, which was once the 4th largest lake in the World. Millions of people around the World already suffer from a lack of drinking water.
Hand dyed, monoprinted and screenprinted fabrics, commercially printed fabrics. Hand appliqué, machine quilting.

Clare Plug created a hand out detailing further information as well as some personal things that could be done to change the individuals carbon print on the planet. And I know some people don't believe in climate change as anything other than a natural progression that has occurred since the beginning of time but on the other hand the suggestions really beg the question- will it hurt for us to adopt any or all of these things? And in the long run I am guessing it will save you more money.

Overwhelmed? Not sure where to start? Here are some suggestions.

Quiltmakers all understand the principle of subdividing the big challenges – like making a quilt – into smaller, manageable & achievable steps. They make one quilt block/unit at a time and before they know it will have enough to assemble to make a whole quilt.

Even making seemingly small changes to your household routine can quickly add up to a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions over a year, and so reduce the size of your own Carbon Footprint. And your friends and family may well join in too!

# Grow something you can eat.

Eg. Sprouts in a jar, microgreens in a shallow tray, salad greens in a recycled container.

Or plant strawberries, or a lemon tree (lemons are useful for all sorts of thing!).

# Aim for one car-less or dryer-less or dishwasher-less day each week.

Use the bus, the washing line or the sink instead. Or Car Pool with a friend/colleague/clubmate.

# Visit your local Library to read the magazines; its very cosy, comfy & friendly there these days.

Or just borrow a book or DVD instead of buying them.

Forgo a newspaper & read it there or online instead.

# Have your car’s tyre pressures & tuning checked regularly, and unload that stuff you’re carting around everywhere in your boot, to improve your mileage/litre.

Or defrost the freezer more often, anything to make your ‘machines’ work more efficiently for you.

# Dig out that Crockpot from the cupboard & use it & your Microwave more for cooking in. They use a lot less electricity than your oven. While you are at it cook double quantity & save for tomorrow or cool & freeze for reheating another day.

# Look through your own patchwork fabric stash before shopping for more. Quiltmaking was traditionally a frugal craft; rediscover the joys of making something beautiful out of what you already have.

# Put on a jersey or thermal top & turn down the thermostat to 18’C.

# Make one night/week meat free. Farm animals generate gases that contribute to global warming.

# Switch something off – a light, an appliance on standby, or the oven 10 minutes early & use stored heat to finish the cooking.

# Everyone Recycles @ Home these days but what about @ Work? And let’s not forget the 2 other ‘R’s, Reduce and Reuse. Bring your own mug for the coffee machine and lunchbox (filled!) to the office.

# Make “Fridge Minestrone” or similar regularly, or at least rescue those assorted leftovers or paid-for veges before they die in there. Alternatively gradually save up all those dribs & drabs in a container in your freezer & make an unrepeatable “Mystery Soup” for a winter night’s Sunday Tea.

Where can you find out more Information?

On Growing food:

& NZ Gardener magazine (at the Library) & join up for their excellent free weekly e-newsletter.

& Collect your free ‘Go Garden’ magazine from Mitre10 + on

& Kings Seeds have instructions about growing sprouts & microgreens, as well as selling seeds.

& Out of Our Own Backyards is an online network all about growing your own food:

General info Online:


& a Frugal Living network:

& an excellent Step by Step guide from from Northland Regional Council:

& Christchurch City’s Sustainable City programs:

& Blog:

& Worm Farming:

Magazines & Books:

& NZ’s own “Good” magazine is a very good place to start. Many other local magazines also have Green sections, supplements or feature articles offering useful info.

& Alison Holst’s microwave & crockpot cookbooks are full of practical ideas on how to use these appliances to their max.

& Excellent overview -

& Gareth Morgans new book – ‘Who’s right about Climate Change?’

Calculate your household’s Carbon Footprint:

By using an online Calculator, this will help you work out how to make you next best step. You’re on your way!


& or at from NZ’s Landcare Research:

Climate Change Science:






Michigoose said...

Thanks so much for sharing this! I wish I could be there in person as these are wonderful.

Elizabeth Seaver said...

Diane, the work that you all did is just breathtaking. It is so compellingly narrative. Thanks for sharing the work that you talented, caring artists did in response to the environmental issues of the planet.

Mal* (turning*turning) said...

I would love to see this show in person, but I'm so glad you shared the artists' statements. Truly thoughtful, lovely, wonderful. Thank you. Looks like your piece is in good company, which makes me happy.

Jamie Fingal said...

What an amazing exhibit. Are the quilts the same size?

Judy said...


Terrific exhibition and a topic to raise awareness of how we are using our earth and its resources, gives one much to think on, thanks for all the info and links.

Margeeth said...

Those quilts are looking really great. Too bad Australia is a bit far for me.
Thanks for the suggestions for doing ones bit to save the climate. You have made my day, I am feeling really virtuous as I am already doing almost all of them (and more).

Anonymous said...

My cousin recommended this blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!
printed fabrics