Textile art inspired by nature

Top notch . . . Owaka local, nature enthusiast and textile artist Janine Thompson stands beside her favourite piece of textile art that she created using specific techniques, displayed at her exhibition on Friday last week at the Owaka Museum.
Art enthusiasts . . . Owaka locals (from left) Lauren Grant and Abby Clarke admire the work of Janine Thompson’s textile art creations at her exhibition on Friday last week at the Owaka Museum.


A local Owaka artist recently held her first ever exhibition, named ‘‘Hanging by a Thread’’, displaying her textile art in the Owaka Museum for all to experience.

Janine Thompson, who owns the Earthlore wildlife garden in Owaka along with her husband Gordon, has a deep› rooted passion for all things art and nature and combined the two to create nature› inspired art using embroidery, hand stitching, painting and more.

‘‘As far back as I can remember, I have always had a love of textiles and nature.

‘‘Both of my parents were keen gardeners

— my father loved birds and had a well› maintained aviary in our backyard, and my mother stitched our clothes, knitted for the entire family and embroidered purely for the love of it’’, she said.

Mrs Thompson most often uses free motion machine embroidery, ‘‘guiding the needle like a pencil, moving it in all directions to build up a design’’.

She doesn’t use computers of any sort — the pieces are all free hand.

Some of it can take months of work.

She highlighted the importance of the name of the exhibition, and how it had a double meaning.

‘‘The obvious side is that my medium of choice is thread, rather than paint or pencil. But also, that a great deal of our nature is indeed hanging by a thread.

‘‘The enormity of the destruction wrought on our natural world and its inhabitants is overwhelming, and we need to start looking at positive actions to take in order to minimise any more damage to our natural environment and our home,’’ she said.

She hopes to be able to hold another exhibition in the future to allow more people to see her artwork and understand the message she is sending out.

‘‘Nature always inspires.

‘‘It is endlessly fascinating in its intricacy and beauty, inhabited by an amazing cast of characters.’’