Uncovering a range of embroiderers' work that challenges many preconceptions about stitch No Rules: Rediscovering Embroidery gathers a selection of 18 makers who have broken free of convention, or redirected it in unexpected ways. These makers have uncovered eloquent personal directions, their common link the inevitability of stitch as their medium of choice. Such exploration is re-discovering the world of stitch, reclaiming it, and opening it to new possibilities.


No Rules is not intended to capture one particular movement or groundswell of activity in stitch. The exhibition, curated by Rosemary McLeod, is an investigation the expansive range of makers from a variety of ages and backgrounds who have chosen thread, before other mediums, for its pure expressive potential.


McLeod notes in her essay for the exhibition, "there have been conscious attempts in the past to revive embroidery, but what is happening now is not such a structured approach. It is the rediscovery of thread's potential on the stitcher's own terms, making embroidery not stilted, retro or self-conscious, but creatively inevitable. Embroidery, when it is framed here, is not constrained, but contained. The maker's hand may be evident, not hidden in the neutrality of perfect execution - or maybe there is no hand producing the work, but a machine. Mistakes and imperfections are celebrated. Embroidery becomes drawing, or challenges paint."


Featuring in No Rules: Rediscovering Embroidery are makers from around New Zealand including Amanda A'Hara, JB Bones, Seb Clarke, Tori Ferguson, Megan Hansen-Knarhoi, Annie Mackenzie, Angela Meyer, Athina Moisa, Katherine Morrison, Diana Parkes, Rachelle Pedersen, Wendy Randall, Shona Rapira Davies, Rose Marie Salmon, Jo Torr, Ronnie van Hout, Rosie White and Roxanna Zamani.


No Rules: Rediscovering Embroidery is curated for Objectspace by well known writer, media personality and commentator Rosemary McLeod. An expert in the field of textiles, with a life-long passion for the subject, McLeod is the author of the 2006 Montana award winning Thrift to Fantasy: Home Textile Crafts of the 1930s - 1950s and has contributed an in-depth essay for the Objectspace publication accompanying No Rules.

Roxanna Zamani, My Sister and I, 2007.

Athina Moisa, Hills and Houses, 2007. Courtesy private collection.

JB Bones, Hanging by a Thread, 2008.