Did you know there was a New Zealand Costume & Textile Association? There is!
And every year they have a symposium, which is a great opportunity to meet other textile and costume enthusiasts from around New Zealand (and sometimes Australia and the US and the rest of the world), and to hear a bunch of talks on a whole variety of fascinating textile subjects.
In previous years the talks have ranged from overviews of the corsets in New Zealand museum collections, to sociological comparisons of the collection habits of knitters and drug addicts, to in-depth studies of extent 1860s dresses, and a truly memorable talk about homo-eroticism in 1970s knitwear patterns.
Last year the Symposium was in Tauranga, and I got to go spend four delicious days with the wonderful Jo-Anne of Zho Zho’s Textile Adventures. This year the symposium is in sunny Nelson, and sadly Jo-Anne is no longer with us. I’m finding it a little hard to think of a NZCTA symposium without her enthusiasm and warmth and ability to bring people together.
But I love Nelson, so I’m working up the courage to register for the symposium and go it alone.
Hopefully though I won’t be entirely alone – hopefully one or two of you will be coming! If it is your first Symposium I’ll try to be the warm, enthusiastic bringer-together that Jo-anne was, the one who introduces all the shy new people (like me a few years ago) and makes them feel part of the fold. If you do come, and haven’t met me, please come up and say hi! (I’ll be the one looking shy and awkward).
The Symposium is Friday the 20th and Sat the 21st of July, at the Suter Art Gallery in Nelson. Registration is open until the 4th of July. Register on the NZCTA’s website.