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'Primary Connection' An Exhibition of Collaborative Tapestry
 
In 1999-2000 I was commissioned by the Christchurch City Council to weave a large tapestry as a Millennium Arts Project. The tapestry was designed by Philip Trusttum and was woven in my studio in the Arts Centre of Christchurch as a ccmmunity work.

It was through this collaboration with Philip that I conceived the idea of working with other artists towards an exhibition (though I had already worked with Michael Reed back in 1995 on the tapestry 'Living in the South Pacific' and with Don Driver on the two 'Pacific Song' works. I felt that working in this way would help develop tapestry as a valid and serious art form within New Zealand.

I have really enjoyed weaving the collaborative tapestries. I have found that the artists I have worked with have shown a lot of faith and trust in my ability to interpret their design concepts in an honest and forthright way. I have had to be true to their vision of the works, whilst including something of my own in the interpretation of the designs. It has been a huge learning curve for me, forcing me to extend my own boundaries and has challenged my perceptions of the technical and design possibilities of the medium. I am sure that this experience will benefit me in my own work in the future.


'An overview of the Exhibition.'
2004

This image is a wide-angle view of the exhibition 'Primary Connection' at CoCA, Dec, 2004/Jan 2005. This photos was taken by Paul Johns, one of the artists with whom I collaborated.


Price. $0.00
Status. For Sale



'View of Exhibition'
2005

View of Title of Exhibition with exhibiting artists. The tapestry 'The Exhibition Opening' is on the left.


Price. $0.00
Status. For Sale



'View of Exhibition'


This image shows the left wall.


Price. $0.00
Status. For Sale



'View of Exhibition'
2004/05

This image shows the end wall with the Millennium tapestry and part of the right wall.


Price. $0.00
Status. For Sale



'View of Exhibition'


This image shows the right wall looking towards the tapestry 'Angel and Fly' which was a collaboration with Julia Morison. The tapestry 'Song" a collaboration with Don Driver is nearest the camera.


Price. $0.00
Status. For Sale



'View of Exhibition'


This image shows the tapestry designed by Graham Bennett 'A Matter of Degrees', 'She Holds the World' diptych, designed by myself, and 'Angel and Fly' designed by Julia Morison


Price. $0.00
Status. For Sale



'The Millennium Tapestry'
1999 - 2000

This image shows the weaver (Marilyn) in front of the Millennium tapestry.
Cotton warp, wool, cotton cottolin and linen weft. Sett: 7epi

Design concept: Philip Trusttum. Interpretation and weaving: Marilyn Rea-Menzies with the help of Alison Stanton and the community of Christchurch.
This tapestry (the largest single tapestry to be woven in New Zealand) was commissioned by Turning Point 2000 through the Christchurch City Council, as a Community Arts Project for the Millennium. It commemorates the Christchurch City in the year 2000 as the word 'Christchurch' is the main motif in the work. Weaving commenced on 9th April, 1999 and the tapestry was cut from the loom by the Prime Minister, Helen Clark on 25th August, 2000. It has been hanging in the Christchurch Town Hall, and will go to the debating chamber in the City Council Offices after the exhibtiion.





Price. $0.00
Status. SOLD



'The Millennium Tapestry'
1999 -2000

This image shows some of my family in front of the Millennium tapestry.


Price. $0.00
Status. SOLD



'Living in the South Pacific'
1995/96
3x 30 x 100cm
Design Concept: Michael Reed
Interpretation and Weaving: Marilyn Rea-Menzies

This tapestry was the first collaborative work. Michael is a renowned Christchurch artist and tutor at the Polytechnic. His design acknowledges the technical heritage and influence of two cultures, referring to the Siapo traditions of the Pacific Islands, and the Emperial heritage of Europe.

Cotton warp, wool, linen and cottolin weft. Sett: 10epi, 20epi, 5epi. The use of linen and cottolin (vegetable fibres reflect back to the use of vegetable fibres in the Pacific, while the wool (an animal fibre) reflects the traditional wool tapestries of Europe. The two fibres offer an exciting surface contrast, with the linen reflecting light to give a shiny surface, whilst the wool absorbs the light and appears matt. To create texture it was decided to use three different warp setts. A supplementary warp was added to weave the very fine figurative insertions.


Price. $15000.00
Status. For Sale



'Pacific Song I & II'
1997 - 98
Each tapestry 159 x 102cm
Design Concept: Don Driver. Interpretation and Weaving: Marilyn Rea-Menzies.
Cotton Warp, wool, cottolin, linen, silver thread in weft. Sett: 7epi

These two tapestries hang together as a pair. The bold bright colours in the tapestries reflect the clear bright colours of the Pacific region though not necessarily the traditional Pacific culture. The images come more from the European influence within New Zealand which borders the Pacific region.



Price. $30000.00
Status. SOLD



'Song'
2000 - 2001
156 x 267cm
Design Concept: Don Driver. Interpretation and Weaving: Marilyn Rea-Menzies.
Cotton warp, wool, cotton, cottolin and linen weft. Sett: 7epi.

This tapestry is the third of the Pacific Song series with Don Driver and reflects the other side of the Pacific with the South American toucan being the main motif. Lazy lines are woven into the orange border in informal diamond type patterns with very subtle colour changes which unfortunately do not show up in the photographs. The body of the toucans are woven in two different setts to give textural interest to the work.
This tapestry was purchased by the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna O Waiwhetu in October 2003.





Price. $0.00
Status. SOLD



'The Railway Cups'
2002
2 x 39 x 242cm each
Design Concept: Rudolf Boelee. Interpretation and weaving: Marilyn Rea-Menzies.
Cotton warp, wool, viscose weft. Soumak, pick and pick and reverse soumak techniques used. Setts: 8epi, 4epi
The Railway Cups diptych were woven simultaneously on the loom with one tapestry upside down so that the alternating colours could be woven at the same time. Rudolf and I chose the colours together and I made the decisions tapestry techniques to use.
(The New Zealand Railway cup is a symbol of that period in New Zealand history, the fifties, where everything was possible and life here was good. The Welfare State looked after all and firms like Crown Lynn Potteries, the manufacturers of the NZR cups made innovative wares due to the scarcitiy of previously imported good. Unfortunately, it was not to last and those 'iinnovative' corporate vandals of the eighties finally killed off an enterprise that in its heyday employed some 1500 people. My work has been about recasting the former Crown Lynbn wares as modernistic images. Rudolf Boelee.)



Price. $20000.00
Status. For Sale



'Angel and Fly'
2002-2003
300 x 111cm
Design concept: Julia Morison. Interpretation and weaving: Marilyn Rea-Menzies. This work was purchased by the Christchurch Art Gallery te Puna O Waiwhetu.

Cotton warp, wool, cottolin, polyester cotton, silk weft Setts: 16, 8 and 4epi.
The image in this tapestry is a surreal one, depicting an abstract female form which appears to be floating on angel wings. It is an erotic work with subtle sexual imagery included. I used a lot of textural contrasts in this work as I felt that this would be the only way the image would work well as a tapestry. A supplementary warp was added to the central section giving a very fine texture in contrast to the texture in the body of the angel and by working over and under two threads a thicker texture was created in the background areas. This work took nine months to complete and is probably the most complex tapestry that I have woven to date.





Price. $0.00
Status. SOLD



'Two Faces'
2003
100 x 50cm
Design Concept: Paul Johns Interpretation and weaving: Marilyn Rea-Menzies
Cotton warp, wool, viscose weft Sett: 12epi

This relatively small tapestry appears simple but was actuallly one of the most difficult tapestries that I have woven. It incorporates two simple faces in a very abstract way.


Price. $8000.00
Status. For Sale



'A Matter of Degrees'
2003 - 2004
350cm high varying dimensions
Design Concept: Graham Bennett. Interpretation and weaving: Marilyn Rea-Menzies.
Cotton warp, wool, cottolin, linen weft Setts: 7epi, 14epi

This tapestry was inspired by the sails from the canoes that sailed tha Pacific Ocean 800 years ago. It is a sculptural work designed to be woven in three sections which were put together after the weaving process was completed. The third narrow section weaves in and out of the left section of the work. Graham constructed a steel armature to enable the tapestry to stand with one corner placed against the wall.


Price. $35000.00
Status. For Sale



'Garden Chalice'
2003- 2004
72 c 97cm
Design Concept: Will Cumming (completed by Marilyn with the help of Cheryl Lucas) Interpretation and weaving: Marilyn Rea-Menzies.
Cotton warp, wool weft Sett: 8epi

The small tapestry was sadly woven after the death of Will Cumming who had been working on the design concept for some time and had intended to weave the work himself. He was tragically killed in an accident before this could be accomplished. Will was largely responsible for Marilyn getting the commission to weave the Millennium tapestry. He was an artist and tutor at the Christchurch Polytechnic and a member of the Christchurch Public Art committee. Marilyn decided that she needed to weave the tapestry for him.

The design was influenced by a marble urn in his lovely formal garden with the top section of the work looking down into leaves floating in the urn. This work is now owned by his wife Jean Cumming.


Price. $0.00
Status. SOLD



'Watching the Rerun of an Ancient Programme'
2004
200x250cm
Design Concept: Michael Armstrong. Interpretation and weaving: Marilyn Rea-Menzies
Cotton warp, wool, cotton, cottolin weft. Sett: 7epi

Michael is a sculptor and painter and in his work deals with issues of race and capitalism, saying that capitalism employs racist means to protect the wealthy elite. tribal ownership and the empty rewards of materialism feature also and this tapestry is no exception. Large colourful organic shapes with faces (almost monsters) intersect with images in grey blues of figures watching multiple televisions, figures on couches, faces separated out in boxes etc feature in the tapestry. This is not a tapestry to gloss over, but one to study and to think about the strong social comments on society today.


Price. $30000.00
Status. For Sale



'She Holds the World......'
2000-2001
Each piece 178 x 85cm
Design and weaving: Marilyn Rea-Menzies
Cotton warp, wool, cottolin and metallic threads in weft. Setts: 10epi, 5epi

Many of my designs deal with deconstruction and reconstruction of images in many different ways. I enjoy breaking up and distorign spaces and shapes to create new images from old. This tapestry is a diptych, the first image depicting a female figure holding the world in her hands. The image is fractured into four segments symbolizing a certain fragility even though she is portrayed as being able to conquer the world. the strength of her stance is belied by the fragmentation though the black and white vertical stripes hold it all together. The second half of the tapestry depicts a young male figure, also fractured into four segments. Is the woman his 'mother,sister, or wife?' She could be any of these. I believe that women actually 'hold up' men in many ways. they give birth to them, nuirture them, teach them and support them throughout their lives. The tapesry allows us to reflect on the nature of humanity and the places that male and female hold in the world.


Price. $22000.00
Status. SOLD



'The Exhibition Opening'
2004
209x99
Design and weaving: Marilyn Rea-Menzies.
Cotton warp, wool, cottolin, cotton weft. Sett: 10epi

The design for this tapestry derived from photographs taken at an exhibition opening. These photographs were cut into a montage, scanned into my computer and then manipulated into the image seen here. There are lovely juxtapositions of colours and I was particularly interested in how much information can be lost whilst still keeping the essence intact.


Price. $18000.00
Status. For Sale



''Angel & Fly' renamed 'Raiment''
2002/03
300 x 100cm
This photograph shows the tapestry 'Angel and Fly' which has been renamed 'Raiment' as part of Julia Morison's exhibition 'A Loop Around A Loop' at the Christchurch Art Gallery. The tapestry was woven in collaboration with Julia in 2002/03 and took nine months to weave. The tapestry was purchased by the Art Gallery in 2004 and it is wonderful to see it shown as part of this most amazing exhibition.


Price. $0.00
Status. SOLD



''Raiment' at the Christchurch Art Gallery'

300 x 111cm
This view of the exhibition 'A Loop Around a Loop' by Julia Morison shows the collaborative tapestry 'Raiment' as it appears in the exhibition.


Price. $0.00
Status. SOLD




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Marilyn Rea-Menzies
Artist Studio and Hallway Gallery
50 Albert Street
Hamilton East
Hamilton

Ph: 64 7 856 6010
Cell: 027 474 3441
marilyn@tapestry.co.nz