Textile artist Katie Shand wanted to make a bold statement and turn her embroidered works into street art.

She had the vision and encouragement from Ellen Young of the Town Centre Rejuvenation Project to apply for Creative Communities funding.

Five months later her four large-scale works are gracing the gates and fence of the Community Arts Centre at 19 Taupō Quay.

"I have spent almost 120 hours on the works and it has been both challenging and satisfying."


Once the funding was approved, Shand was faced with the challenge of up-scaling her designs and making them weather proof.

"I had to import special weatherproof thread from the US and the designs are stitched on to aviary wire.

"The colours are brighter than ones I normally use but I anticipate there will be some fading."

Shand has completed the work while studying towards a Certificate of Graphic Design at UCOL.

"I found that my course work was quite complementary to the project and helped to inspire me."

Two of the works in the project combine to form a picture of a tree nymph with flowing locks that transform in to a river in the next frame.

Shand says the work was inspired by the Whanganui River and the quote about how it flows "from the mountains to the sea".

"I hope the work will inspire young people to try embroidery.

"It is such a satisfying art form that was once very widely practised and I like to think I'm helping to revive it."

Shand will be holding an exhibition at the new Space Gallery premises for the La Fiesta festival in February.

Her regular scale work is available at Article or can be viewed at her Away with the fairies Facebook page.