Te Kuiti textile artist, Anne Garvey, is influenced by her rural surroundings in the most practical of ways – her design practice includes recycling old shearing singlets.
It occurred to Anne that although most farm clothes are designed for men to wear, there was potential for them to be adapted for women. "Most rural men look pretty spunky in a black singlet, and women – with their love for the LBD – would also look pretty sharp if they were redesigned."
Anne began with two singlets that she "prised of the back of a man". She embellished the holes using crochet, embroidery, knitting and metallic thread, making them a design feature. 'These girls ain't sheepish' features silver and gold thread and a navy blue singlet called 'The Lollipop dress' has multi-coloured embellishment.
Her work draws from a variety of techniques including knitting, crochet, spinning, weaving, felting, hand and machine sewing and embroidery.
Anne has taught art and textiles at secondary level for the last 12 years, after more than 25 years primary teaching. She also tutors textile-related workshops and is involved with a range of design and textile organisations including Creative Fibre NZ and the Waitomo Society of Arts.
Text by Doris de Pont.
Last published February 2014.