Napier, Anyone?

Anna-Marie White just came back from a ripper of a symposium in Napier, on the North Island of New Zealand, called Volume. It was about "craft" and there was quite a bit of discussions on craft vs art, apparently, by makers, curators/museum folks, and writers. I had really, really wanted to go, and the cost for the symposium was super reasonable, at $50 for 2 days of rigorous discussions and great presentations, but travel cost was a bit hefty and the timing was wrong for me. Anyway, maybe next year.

The same Hawkes Bay Museum is hosting next year's thing that I go to for fun. I'm just going to sit back and enjoy, but if any of you would like some textile fun in Napier, maybe present a paper to a kind audience, this might be your opportunity!

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8th Annual Symposium of the Costume and Textile Association of New Zealand aka New Zealand Costume and Textile Section of the Auckland Museum Institute

May 30 & 31 2009


When in 1979 Farah Diba, Empress of Iran, fled the fall of Tehran she did so in a dress designed by Valentino. It was neither the first, nor the last, time that luxurious textiles and high fashion were intimately linked with the image of an Empire. Historically, extravagant clothing and textiles, ceremony and pageantry have been central to the way in which the allure of Empires has been constructed. In contrast everyday clothing and ordinary textiles have often been part of the set of tools by which revolution and sedition have been able to dismantle the rule of Empires.

Despite a strong association with the past, the idea of empire still occupies our daily diet of ideas. Here, at the beginning of the Twenty-First century, and at the beginning of the 8th Costume & Textile symposium, then - the concept of Empire has been chosen to provide a starting point for the discussion for a broad range of aspects of textile and costume from the products of past cultural Empires to the outpourings of current fashion Empires - the tale of the Emperor’s new clothes might even expect a mention.

We invite submission of abstracts of no more than 300 words, plus a brief biography to Tanya Stewart, Hawke’s Bay Museum & Art Gallery, P O Box 248 Napier or tstewart@hbmag.co.nz

Deadline: December 12, 2008


  1. Goodness - and what a beautiful place to have a meeting, too! I do love Napier. I used to visit it regularly when I lived just outside Tauranga.

    Hm....I've just taken another look....that's on, right about the time I'd planned to travel in Australia next year! It's such a pity that I doubt I'd have the time to make it over.

  2. Are you sure you can't hop over? I shall shout you a glass or two of Hawkes Bay wine!


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