I’ll Show You My Craft If You Show Me Yours is a collaborative project designed to bring together people from different crafts to share processes, materials, and ideas.
A colonial British Queen travels through the Pacific to Samoa, on invitation by High Chief Moana. Upon arrival, the Queen decides that her wardrobe should embody a cultural hybrid for her CoconuTea party with The High Chief. The Queen selects a local Native weaver who works with her artisan shoemaker to create an ensemble of New Savage Couture.
Emma Greenwood and Maryann Talia Pau become the Queen’s Chief WeaveStresses, chosen to help navigate culture, protocol, design, craft and etiquette. The combination of their skills and the use of diverse materials suggests a desire to experiment and comment on cultural identities and values.
Materials include stamps of both nations, local plant-based materials, shells, beads, feathers, leather, rope and luxe fabrics from the Queen’s luggage.The use of plastic and rope speaks also of environmental pollution, foreign items washing up onto Island shores, a metaphor for Colonial powers in the Pacific, including the Queen.
The skills of both makers come from historically rich traditions. Greenwood’s crafts of shoemaking and textile arts, and Talia Pau’s skill in weaving and adornment, combine to produce a stunning vocabulary of design, and a unique opportunity to create a couture wardrobe for English nobility, worthy for a meeting with The High Chief.
Born in Apia, Samoa, Maryann Talia Pau grew up in Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand and then Melbourne, Australia. Maryann has been making for the last 14 years. For now, her work focuses on body adornment using materials and craft techniques from Samoa and across the Pacific. Her other passions include weaving, siapo (Samoan bark cloth) and textiles. Making represents healing and connection, to our families and ancestors before us and to each other across the globe.
Emma Greenwood is a pedantic Aquarian craftswoman, trained in sculpture, printmaking and custom-made footwear. Mum to Leo and Hazel, Emma is passionate about capoeira and crochet, and loves argyle knee socks, Princess Leia, colour spectrums, stamp collecting and drinking tea. Under the label ‘Emerge’, Emma produces over the top footwear and accessories. Using a variety of materials such as leather, postage stamps, Swarovski crystals, electrical wire, and hand-embroidered trims, Emerge pieces are highly tactile and precious. Eschewing the need for seasonal trends, Emma revisits signature themes and ideas, inspired by colour, humour, symmetry and silhouette. Either bespoke and highly customised, or in small production runs, she lovingly handcrafts her footwear and accessories entirely from her Melbourne studio.
I’ll Show You My Craft If You Show Me Yours: Regal Savage
Craft Cubed Exhibitions
22 August – 3 September 2011
Craft Victoria, enCOUNTER and Gallery 3
31 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, Australia
Artist Talks: Saturday 3 September, 2pm
Source and image: Craft Victoria