The latest group exhibition at Rayner Brothers Gallery in Whanganui signals a return to traditional arts with some exciting new twists.

Heather Baskiville-Robinson's cabbage tree fibre sculpture dominates the centre of the room giving a holiday vibe to the gallery.

She is one of eight artists whose work features in the Hi-Fibre exhibition and her work provides examples of fibre art in its most natural forms.

"Everything I use can be reused in another form," she says.


"I have been working with fibres for a long time and I love the seemingly endless possibilities."

Baskiville-Robinson is a printmaker, paper maker and multimedia artist as well as a weaver of fibres.

Her works in the exhibition include a series of bell jars containing the fluffy, windblown seeds of swan plants (with a monarch butterfly) and ti kouka or cabbage tree seeds with tiny woven kete.

There is also a jar containing the web of a spider - nature's most efficient weaver and works from her Jacket of Life series made from her harakeke paper.

"I was thinking about how we all need lifejackets to keep us afloat at times."

Baskiville-Robinson said she is pleased that fibre work is now widely recognised as art and is less often dismissively labelled as "craft".

Other artists whose work features in the exhibition have taken traditional fibre art forms to new levels.

Lauren Joan Lysaght has taken the classic "nana bag" and transfigured a series of them into modern, sexy things with applique fabric designs while Nicky Gerard's macrame works provide stunning examples of the resurgence of string art.


Rounding off the Whanganui artworks are Rohan Mouldey's knitwits, Carmen Simmonds' crochet figures and Mark Rayner's rainbow hooked rugs taking yarn art to new frontiers.

Rotorua artist Liz Pearce's male dolls from her "stitching a boyfriend" series are complete miniature men covered in felt fabric and Leah Creaven from Martinborough has contributed some of her beautiful punch needle embroideries.

Hi-Fibre: Rayner Brothers Gallery, 85 Glasgow St. Gallery hours are Wednesday to Saturday, 11am to 3pm.