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Jennifer Patterson

Mountains and River United is created in black silk organza with glass beads.

Textile Artist

Jennifer Patterson and her twin sister are both long term textile art practitioners but this is the first time they have ever exhibited together in their own exhibition. As Jennifer says: Sharing an art space with my twin sister Jeanette Gillies is very special.

We were born in Riverton and moved to Lumsden where my parents had a sheep farm.  My early married life had me living at 9 various towns in the North and South Islands when my husband worked in the Post Office. Moving towns almost every 2 years has its own challenges, but what a wonderful experience it was. Our 2 children benefited from it and have lovely memories of towns lived in.  I have lived in Taranaki for 41 years and very settled.

My journey into textiles started in 1989 when a patchwork and quilting group was formed in Stratford. Soon after I went to a dye class with Janet Snow (Hawera) and followed it with a class from Jeanette de Nicholas Meyer (America). It was about changing the surface colour of the original fabric. Many classes followed and I have a strong belief in investing in myself to continue the journey. In 2008 Jeanette and I travelled to Lake Tahoe (California) and participated in a class with Els van Baarle and learned soy wax batik. It was inspirational and exciting. Later I had a masterclass with Glenys Mann (Australia) and she had me hooked on layering different types of light weight silk. Groups I belong to that have exhibitions are Taranaki Aotearoa Quilters, Stratford Village Quilters, Taranaki Patchworkers and Quilters Guild and Stratford Art Society. 

The use of dye, (chemical and natural) play a big part in my wall art journey. I like to work independently and stay true to my own style.  It gives me great joy to complete a piece and have someone like it enough to take it home and put it on their wall. 

In 2014 Jeanette and myself exhibited at Yinnar in Victoria Australia. It was just after the bush fires, so many families lost their homes along with precious art pieces.  The exhibition was very successful.  Another highlight for me was my own solo exhibition at the Percy Thomson Gallery in 2021. 

I find it every interesting to read this description of how Jennifer creates her pieces:

I will have a session of transferring rust onto silk with several pieces batched at the same time and consequently I do the same when botanically dying fabric. I get the best results when using silk. Natural fibres, like cotton and linen take chemical dyes well. As I progress with dyed or rusted fabric and have pieces waiting to be made into something amazing, I will hang them on my wall for several days to study the colour, markings and form a plan to develop a wall art piece. I must admit not all of the dyed pieces get chosen.

I am one of 4 Taranaki ladies that formed a group and call themselves “The Book Club”. We change the surface of paper with paint, dye, and homemade pastes to use in books and journals. The books and journals are varied with different ways of designing a cover, completing a spine, finishing a binding and attaching pages. 

Many of my completed wall pieces have been exhibited around New Zealand and overseas.  At present I have 2 wall quilts travelling in Europe and being displayed at various Galleries in several countries.

All of Jennifer’s wonderful wall works are now loaded onto the website shop. Just use the drop down menu to filter for Jennifer Patterson. Here is the page link: