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Handmade revived at Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery


 The collection of Rosemary McLeod, a keen rescuer of vintage needlecraft, will be on display at Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery in Titirangi as part of a solo exhibition titled With Bold Needle & Thread: 1920-1960 Vintage Needlework from the Rosemary McLeod Collection.

Perhaps best known as a columnist and commentator, Wellington-based McLeod is also an avid collector with an eye for the overlooked. Many of the objects in her collection, made between 1920-1960, come from op shops, charity stores, TradeMe and friends who know of her ongoing passion for domestic handicraft. Items range from tea cosies and aprons to doilies, dollies and golliwogs. Alongside McLeod’s collection of found embroideries are works made by her own hands, using patterns and instructions found in old craft magazines. McLeod notes, “My mission here is to reclaim the home-made... I also wanted to find out what it would be like, as a maker, to re-enter a time when the average woman, with average sewing skills, was expected to be able to make most of the craft projects in magazines.”

McLeod’s personal collection is as much about social history as it is about recovering a once ubiquitous art form. Her collection, she says, is not just about objects; it is about women’s hopes, dreams, beliefs and financial realities during decades when life in New Zealand was undeniably tough.

The exhibition, toured by Tauranga Art Gallery, will be supported by a dynamic programme of talks and activities. Please visit our website or Facebook page for the latest event information.

With Bold Needle & Thread: 1920-1960 Vintage Needlework from the Rosemary McLeod Collection is on at Te Uru from 19 June – 9 August 2015.

Exhibition developed and toured by Tauranga Art Gallery Toi Tauranga with the generous support of the Mackay Strathnaver Trust.

About the collector-writer-maker:

Rosemary McLeod is one of New Zealand's best known and most distinguished journalists, with a long career in both print and broadcast media. She has regularly had a column for The Dominion Post that is published in a number of other daily newspapers nationally. She is also a keen needlewoman and textile collector. Her previous book, Thrift to Fantasy: Home Textile Crafts of the 1930s­–1950s won the history category of the Montana Book Awards in 2006. McLeod was devisor, story-liner and scriptwriter for the iconic, award-winning TV soap Gloss, and has written TV comedy in Australia and New Zealand. McLeod has previously won the Pen Best First Book of Prose award (1976) for her satirical novel, A Girl Like I, the Jubilee Prize for Investigative Journalism, and was five times Qantas Feature Writer of the Year. Her cartoons have featured in a number of NZ publications.


About Te Uru:

Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery, based in scenic Titirangi, is West Auckland’s regional art gallery. After two years of redevelopment, Te Uru opened in November 2014 in a purpose-build building as part of the Lopdell Precinct. Te Uru receives core funding from the Waitakere Ranges Local Board of Auckland Council.


For more information, contact:

Te Uru 09 818 8087



Written by

Te Uru Waitākere Contemporary Gallery

9 Jun 2015

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