2 + 2 + 2
2+2+2 collective is weaver Christine Brimer, contemporary jewellery artist Justine Fletcher and fibre artist Barbara Wheeler. We work primarily with sustainable and natural materials and support each other to make new work embodying this ethos.
As Niche Textile Studio Christine Brimer designs and weaves with the natural hues of New Zealand wool for contemporary interiors. Christine is interested in exploring surface and form to articulate themes of belonging and our connection to the natural world.
The 2 series of works presented here, in 2+2+2 collective’s first exhibition, represent quite a departure from Christine’s usual practice.
field work - reimagining our pastoral future
The delicacy and sedentary vulnerability of plants contrasts with their resilience and drive to grow and reproduce. Each biological niche within an ecosystem is forged out of ingenuity, hard graft and ultimately interdependence and cooperation with each other and with the physical world.
For the most part, farming has developed to maximise yield and profit at the expense of biodiversity and resilience.
Inspired by time walking in the Slovenian alpine meadows in 2019, field work imagines if we were to once again commit to championing biodiversity in our farming practices; offering a diverse flora to pollinators and grazing stock, and restoring our soils.
Like scientific enquiry, loom weaving is an intentional iterative practice reliant on keen observation and experimentation, identifying variables and establishing which ones will be manipulated to build cloth. The choice of yarn is one such variable.
Wool is my ally and friend; familiar, compliant, forgiving, gentle. In contrast cellulosics, in this case linen and paper yarns, are stubborn, wilful and determined. Once off the loom the inherent materiality of the yarns takes over and forms develop that supersede my intentions.
I have had to listen and yield to the behaviour of these less familiar yarns; to surrender control and be materials responsive. Recognising how these yarns want to exist in the world then enables me to design novel structures; meta forms.
Much of Justine’s work has taken the historical feminist activism of others as a starting point. Statistics around specific events have provided parameters and dictated materials. She is interested in how the dynamic between group and individual can be represented visually.
Justine reuses existing resources wherever possible, with domestic objects and everyday items featuring prominently. She aims to make a connection between the subject matter of the work and contemporary everyday life.
The work Justine is presenting at the first 2+2+2 collective exhibition uses an intentionally narrow range of materials. The plant matter has been collected and dried, or found dead, since the beginning of lockdown last year, and the fabric scraps, threads and natural plant dyes were what were available in her house at that time.
Recent circumstances have presented challenges for all of us that have sometimes become opportunities. Remnant Meditation uses materials exploration as an intentional distraction. Producing something new is merely an enjoyable by-product, at a time when everything matters so much, and nothing matters at all. The work, which could float away in the wind, has progressed and developed around weightier commitments, and carries these within it.
Barbara's current collection, Black Baskets, is a response to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on climate change. The report is a Code Red for Humanity - the alarm bells are deafening, and the evidence is irrefutable.
Some of the shifts are in motion now, while some - such as continued sea level rise – are already ‘irreversible’ for centuries to millennia, ahead. But there is still time to limit climate change, IPCC experts say. Strong and sustained reductions in emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases, could quickly make air quality better, and in 20 to 30 years global temperatures could stabilize.
These messages have been overlooked in the panic to respond to the COVID 19 and Afghanistan crises.
This collection of baskets explores the fundamental breath of life and is an example of the ‘think global, act local’ mindset. Each basket has been made from fibres diverted from landfill, thus reducing Aotearoa’s greenhouse gas emissions. And each design has been created to home a particular indoor plant. These plants need our breath, containing CO2 to flourish. And we need their O2 by-product of photosynthesis for life, making them our perfect partners for indoor living, which has increased due to COVID 19 pandemic responses.