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Jan Macneil

Taranaki Textile Artist

Works from Jan Macneil are often available in the gallery. This exhibition gives Jan’s exquisite inventive knitted works a place in the spotlight. Jan is an exploratory maker – she loves to combine beads, threads, colours, wires and knitting. This practice has been refined over the years but as she says something in me is looking for an innovation, a satisfaction arises then that keeps me growing and living.

For the exhibition on at ‘from out of the blue studio gallery’ until 23rd May 2022, Jan Macneil has not only produced her awesome vessels of handknitted fibres and wires. She has also created what she calls sensory cloths or Kakahu rongo: –

Sensory Cloths –  Kakahu rongo

Made to soothe the soul. Choose the colour that speaks to you, handle the cloth, let it fall across your hand, tumble through your fingers, weigh it with your soul .

Predawn aqua

Summer warmth

Night sky

Jan writes: Knitting has a soothing quality to it; rhythmic movement, repetitive, watching something grow. There have been times in my life when I’ve needed that soothing quality, and almost without fail I turn to my own form of meditation …. knitting. The threading of the beads is another rhythmic action that soothes and allows your mind to work contemplatively, rather than rushing like a flooded river.

Also fresh for the gallery from these clever busy hands are works that Jan calls The Experimental Group. This is a collection of wire structures, some with beads, some with bottoms to hold tea lights and some just conical forms to play with the casting of shadows.

Free hang these where the light through the day will make them sparkle and cast awesome shadows or illuminate them at night with tea lights. These are listed on the website shop page.

Jan talks about her delightful knitted vessels:

I can’t remember when I started to knit, but let’s say .. 60 years ago? .. but knitting unusual things, maybe 20 years. 
I love colour, and depth of colour, and discovered spun sari silks when living in Christchurch 20 years ago. A little before then, I started knitting with colourful cottons and beads, and somewhere along the line, in order to get the shape and substance, I added wire. I’m lucky to still have the dexterity and strength to use those materials.
I’ve indulged my feelings for shapes and colours more in the last few years, since I retired from my day job and have the time and mental space.
I may still wear mostly black, but in all other things it’s COLOUR!

These vessels, including Nest, Bowl of Warmth About to Fly and Whimsy Shape are in the gallery to hold, enjoy the array of colour and textures, and marvel at the imagination of the maker.

More details on the gallery shop page.