Christine Keller is a senior professional weaver from Dunedin. She operates the LoomRoom in Dunedin which you can explore through her website https://christinekeller.co.nz/
Many of Christine’s projects have an environmental concern underpinning them – this includes the work she created for Dreaming of the Future. Christine writes about Think while you do the Dishes:
We have to change. In our attitude to objects, consumption and agriculture.
During the last few years I started the production of hand-woven Kitchen towels in Dunedin as a means of storytelling. They are simple everyday objects which cost much more than their mass-produced sisters due to time and effort gone into them. They have added value due to the touch of the maker. They are good at what they do – they dry dishes, they give pleasure. They are an individual object which has been made by a local human. Future owners might find a link to a website in the hanging label. This is where the object starts to tell a story.
In the first series I have responded to the research of Adan E. Suazo in Peace and Conflict Studies who told me about conflict arising when people sell their water rights. I am deeply concerned about our future consequences of selling off our rights to water and food to entities out of New Zealand. This towel links you to the website of aotearoawateraction.org which is a group of brave men and women fighting for our water rights to stay within the country and the people. The colours are inspired by the colours of images of bottled water, pin stripes and river-coloured prison bars. These bars represent my worry that once those rights are gone for us, we are stuck with the consequences.
I hope that I can interest more people to buy less, buy local and treat their objects well enough to last a very long time.
These art towels are so soft, you can tell by touching them that they would dry any object quickly without any residue. They are timeless handcrafted bespoke collectibles. A very gentle way to lead people into thinking more about selling water rights to bottling companies, water shortages, water conservation and water quality at a time when these issues are becoming very central to our survival as people and the health of the planet and our own special Aotearoa.
Christine has provided us with her bio and an overview of her artistic career. What a privilege to have such a highly esteemed weaver participating in this Exhibition.
German born New Zealand based artist Christine Keller positions her work between textile design, contemporary art, new media research and innovation. She is interested in the clash of tradition and new technologies, and its social and political implications. As a result of her involvement with the international textiles community she has been living away from her home country for over thirteen years. Her work has been exhibited internationally since 1994 (America, Australia, China, Europe, Japan, Mongolia, New Zealand) and has featured for example in the publications, Techno Textiles 1 and 2 (1998, 2005) and will be in Warp and Weft (2012) by Jessica Hemmings. She is an award winning designer, especially for her woven and felted design work for ‘Handweberei Rosenwinkel’ (1998-2001) in Germany. Since 1994 she has been involved with the Centre for Contemporary Textiles in Montreal Canada where she developed an affinity with hand woven Jacquard work. Christine Keller holds a MFA from Concordia University (2004) and a Dipl. Des from Gesamthochschule Kassel (1993) (equivalent to Masters), at the end of her Apprenticeship in Loom Weaving in Hamburg she has been awarded as the Best new Hand Weaver in Germany in 1987. After her Masters she has investigated electronic textiles as associate researcher at XS-labs in Montreal with Prof Joanna Berzowska as main investigator. Christine has taught Textile Design, Weaving and Fine Arts in Germany, Mongolia, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. She has been a member of SDA on and off since the 1990s and has won a merit award during an exhibition of the 11th SDA conference in Kansas City. Also she has tought a workshop at the Kansas City SDA conference in 2005.
In July 2005 she was invited to come to the Dunedin School of Art at Otago Polytechnic as Academic Leader of the Textile Section in Dunedin. In late 2012 she founded the Dunedin-based Weaving Studio Weaving on Hillingdon and in 2015 added the community space Dunedin’s LoomRoom which has moved to new, custom built premises in 2018. As an immigrant to New Zealand she took New Zealand Citizenship in 2016.
2001 Alen-Mueller-Hellwig Award for submission to the culture of Northern Germany, Lübeck, Germany
2000 Innovation Award, Innovation State Award of the Lower Saxony Chamber of Crafts, Peine, Germany
2000 Förderpreis Lower Saxony Award for the Designing Crafts, Hanover, Germany
2000 Merit Award “Measure for Measure” exhibition at the 11th Surface Design Conference, KCAI Kansas City Art Institute, MO
2000 Textile Culture Haslach, 2nd Price, at international juried exhibition, Haslach, Austria
1994 Semi-Finalist at “The International Textile Design Contest of the Fashion Foundation” 1994, Tokyo, Japan
Her work is collected by
Hamburg Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe (Museum of Arts and Crafts)
Deutsches Märchen und Wesersagenmuseum, Bad Oeynhausen (German Fairytale Museum)
Christine’s beautiful kitchen towels are now available through the gallery web shop. Please contact the gallery if you require any more information.