Verdict - Part 2

Boy, has it been only one day?

I went to see Ronette Pickering, ex-weaver, ex-weaving-teacher, sometime local textile comp judge, former head of the local polytechnic's School of Visual Arts, and my figure drawing teacher, to see if she can shed light on my predicament. She could not. She said, considering the weave structure, even the selvedges are pretty good. The only thing she could think that could be misconstrued as errors was my weft-wise repeats; I go to great length to make a draft that doesn't repeat, so even though there are recurring design "elements" (sections), a 150cm scarf has somewhere between one and four repeat/s weft-wise. Her theory was that if a selector tried to look for a weft-wise repeating pattern and saw none, it might be blamed on "mistakes". Ronette thought the selector was a weaver; Dianne thinks not. So it is possible they had a weaver supplying "specialist knowledge" to assist in the selection.

What burns me, as I said in my comment, is "technical errors" is a factual statement and can be proven or refuted, and as such, I think the organization, if not the selector, has a moral obligation to point out the errors, and the burden of proof is on them. As exhibition participants, we grow accustomed to vast difference in tastes, so "I hate the colors" is almost a more acceptable reason to reject a piece, don't you think?

After catching up on the emails that accumulated while I was away, I found a reminder from Rose about our Area (Top of the South Island) Exhibition to be held in the city of Westport in a couple of weeks. I figured sending the reject, and a few others from the same warp, would be the best therapy.

So this weaver is going to keep singing the blues, y'all. And thanks for your comments, emails and phone conversations.

PS. It just so happened that Ronette's daughter Anna bought one of my scarves off The Wall. I warned her today, as a responsible manufacturer, that the scarf she purchased has tons of technical errors and pursuant to New Zealand's Consumer Guarantees Act, she could request a replacement. Without knowing what I'd been thinking, she blurted out, "there must be thousands of exhibitions around the world!"; I found this encouraging, and serendipitous. Small victories.


  1. Art is free and has no limits. But it seems selectors do. Is there any written info about guidelines for submitted work for NZ Society exhibitons. I know selectors who will "non-select" (PC) if the threads between tassels are not crossed (not correct in my book) or another who likes to be able to non-s to prove shes doing the job correctly! In my view if a piece is beautifully made and has magic its in and the display artist can jolly well find space to display it. Yes, in this particular exhibition there were a large number of submissions but they are not all expected to travel. Ann is very approachable and how else do we learn but seeking answers to questions.
    Keep singing the blues Meg.

  2. My gallery wanted to know about these "errors" so I think I will follow up with Ann. Part of me just wants to get over it and move on; one person wanted to buy one of my cottons so might come over to have a look at them. It's a funny thing, art. Why can't we admit we're all so very subjective? Unless the scarf is falling apart or something...

    Like you said, Dianne, no guidelines or rules. As Rose Pelvin just told me, "And welcome to the 'rejected for no good reason' club. We've all been there!"

    Moving on...

  3. Hi Meg

    I bought the scarf for Ana for her 43rd birthday last month. She was frustrated at having to wait for it while your exhibition was on but she's enjoying it now. I think that the very thing that may have worked against your scarf being selected is the very reason why one would weave by hand in the first place. I am assuming that the random lifting of your pattern sequence may have been the problem for this selector. Predictable pattern sequences is what industry does so well but random it does not ... though I guess it could. The dull and predictable should be left to the weaving industry and the rest to hand weavers. That's what makes hand woven works a one off art object. One doesn't simply buy a scarf but a part of the person who made it too.


  4. Right-o, Andrea said you bought it. At any rate, it's an honor.

    What you say ties in with what Randy Darwall says - why hand-weave run-of-the-mill cloth by hand.

    Jay Farnsworth wanted me to follow up re. the errors, too, so I still might, you know, as politely as I can manage. Because I am curious. But right now I want to look at funky color samples for a totally different effect, but with similar size, possibly similar drafts, etc. I'm trying to be a bit funkier after Jules' course.

    And, oh, so, you bought a part of me? Well, I'll be happy in the kennel with May in spite of the rain, then.


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