As well as the WOW stage, fibre artist and designer Shona Tawhiao’s structural, intricately-woven flax creations have graced the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the catwalks of New York Fashion Week. But the weaver is looking forward to a quieter life in 2017, focusing less on the outside world and more on her craft.
Tawhiao has been at the forefront of mahi raranga (flax weaving) for many years. She was born in 1970 and grew up in a small forestry village, Kaingaroa, near Rotorua. Her grandparents raised her until she was 13, when she moved to Mount Maunganui with her mum, stepdad and younger sister. In 1994 she began learning her craft at Auckland’s Unitec, and found inspiration in all forms of Maori art.
Describing her work as “art in a sculptural and wearable form”, she uses traditional Maori weaving techniques to make modern avant garde fashion and haute couture, using the widely available native harakeke (Phormium tenax) growing everywhere in New Zealand.
Check this amazing designer out, she has amazing contemporary pieces that highlight the change of identity through the traditional and ancient identity of Maori craft.
Contacts for Shona are linked below.