Central Otago Outside The Square (COOTS) textile artists – Reddy Arts Textile Group (RATG)
I’m like most people; when I think of New Zealand, I picture a thousand shades of green, ancient forests, beautiful coastal areas … and lots and lots of rain.
But down in Central Otago, inland and almost at the bottom of the South Island, there is a surprising landscape borne of some of the most continental and arid climate New Zealand has to offer. Think colourful wildflowers, long hot summers where the sun goes down late at night, and winters with a crisp combination of blue skies, early morning frozen water pipes, spectacular valley hoar frosts, and snow-covered mountain ranges.
Here’s to COOTS!
It is so different from my home-base in Brisbane, yet it is here I have found a group of talented fabric artists, Central Otago Outside The Square (COOTS) textile artists, with so much in common with one of my own favourite groups, Reddy Arts Textile Group (RATG). Not only have we made some new friends, we have also developed a collaboration with our neighbours – 17 Degrees of Separation: The Diversity of Distance – a celebration of the 17 degrees in latitudinal distance between us and all the similarities and differences that separation has created.
One of the best things about artists is they embrace their membership to a worldwide community – through collaborations, shared exhibitions and competitions. There’s not much shared in the way of natural landscape between COOTS and RATG, but the truth is we all draw inspiration from our environment, and as artists, we have an awful lot in common.
Both groups are made up of textile artists with an enormous diversity of skills, techniques, and passions. COOTS pride themselves on creating fibre art with a difference and on being a group of artists with strong opinions, and a love of experimentation and exploration utilising fabric, fibre, paper and dye. The works produced by COOTS include wall hangings of painted and stitched fabric, hand-dyed scarves of luxurious silk, stitched and machine-pieced quilts, felted paintings, and even book covers created in richly hued fabrics.
Coots members are amongst the very talented best that New Zealand offers in artists:
Robyn van Reenen
More information about Coots can be found at their FB page: here