MY CHOICE: Margot Bennetts / winter 2023
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MY CHOICE: Margot Bennetts / winter 2023

Winter 2023: Margot Bennetts

Each month a member of our community is invited to browse our online collection and select six of their favourite artworks. Each My Choice selection, together with personal responses to the works, will be available to view on the Sarjeant Gallery website for one month at a time. The June 2023 My Choice has been selected by Margot Bennetts and is available to view until 30 June, 2023.

Margot Bennetts moved to Whanganui 25 years ago for her first teaching job and spent most of this time at Whanganui High School, teaching Health and Physical Education.  In 2022 she had the opportunity to become a Healthy Active Learning Advisor at Sport Whanganui, and enjoys working with primary school teachers in the Whanganui and Rangitikei regions, in this role.

Apart from Sport and PE, Margot’s other passion is raranga (weaving).  She started weaving in 2009 through Te Wānanga Aotearoa, and 13 year later, has just completed her degree in Māori Art, majoring in weaving.   Her family has always been a great support, and they inspire most of her weaving.  Her selected works relate to this passion.

See Margot’s selections on our Explore the Collection ‘My Choice Exhibition Series’ highlight HERE and below:

Margot’s Choices:

Gottfried Lindauer, Māori Portrait’ 1876, (1948/2/1)

“My eyes are first drawn to the beautiful korowai being worn by this wahine, and the way that it is so intricately painted, showing the perfect spacing between each row of whatu, and the black muka tassels, that make it a korowai. It makes me really want to see the rest of the cloak, so I can examine it up close!”

Philippa Blair, Grey Cloak (for Edward)”, 1985, (1998/9/1)

“I love the classic kākahu shape in this painting. The cloak is a symbol of protection, and while this one is very contemporary, it still has the form of a traditional one.”

Joan Grehan, Untitled (Female figure weaving study), Unknown, 2014/1/52

“This drawing makes me want to sit down and join this weaver in her endeavours. When preparing harakeke for weaving, you do not really need to think too much, so it is really nice to have company for this meditative practise.”

Joan Grehan, Untitled (Taupo Lake and Hills Study), Unknown, (2014/1/404)

“I love the harakeke and korari (flower) depicted in this sketch. It is such a prominent part of our landscape in Aotearoa.”

Edith Collier, Still Life with Urn, Unknown (1/84)

“This was the only painting I could find with a woven piece in it. How exciting to find out that it is painted by Edith Collier, who is one of Whanganui’s best-known painters! I am intrigued by the shine and colours in the brass bowl – it looks so real.”

Alexis Neal, Mumu II, 2013, (2017/18/2)

“This piece is woven in a traditional manner but uses paper rather than harakeke. I really like the way the whakairo is still able to be seen, even when the whenu are the same colour, and how the pattern is changed for these solid colour blocks, while carrying echoes of the whakairo around it. Mumu is a Whanganui pattern, and I like this take on it, with the big blocks of black and cream making up the pattern.”

Past Exhibitions 2023