Huge tapestry set for Forum North

By Alex Newlove

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Nancy Jackson, Jackie Broughton and Colleen Hunter put the finishing touches on a tapestry that's taken thousands of hours. Photo / Michael Cunningham
Nancy Jackson, Jackie Broughton and Colleen Hunter put the finishing touches on a tapestry that's taken thousands of hours. Photo / Michael Cunningham

It's hoped a scenic view of Whangarei Harbour will soften the pain for people fronting up to pay their rates bills at Forum North.

Thousands of hours of work over more than three years have gone into weaving the 4.5 x 3.5-metre tapestry, soon to be displayed in Forum North.

"The total hours are actually something we never recorded," said Nancy Jackson from Northland Creative Fibre, the group behind the work. "Because we had 15 volunteers that used to go in and do hours each day, we also had the public involved, so an uncountable amount of people have been involved."

Ms Jackson said the group had followed an intricate painted panorama, though there had been "no real mishaps". They had used a huge loom based at the Town Basin made from a macrocarpa tree that fell down during 1988's Cyclone Bola.

"All the way along we've had to do little bits of undoing for all sorts of reasons - but nothing that hasn't been repairable," Ms Jackson said.

The biggest setbacks for the group had been the sudden death of a core member, Beverly Compter, who had been responsible among other things for dyeing the masses of donated wool needed for the tapestry.

The tapestry - presently being hemmed - would have its official unveiling and blessing on June 11.

It would hang in the Forum North foyer near the payments office.

"It's very exciting. None of us has seen it opened up," Ms Jackson said.

- Northern Advocate

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