Kickstart 'the street loves nana'

a team effort
Day One | before stitching
Day Two | stitching begins
Day Four | making progress
Day Eight | now its framed and stitching continues
Street art meets 'nanaish' handcrafting. Well-known NZ street artists are making a fence – of street art – to be shown and sewn at Splore – by festival goers [over a cup of tea].


'The street loves nana' - street art meets 'nanaish' handcrafting.

Well-known NZ street artists are making a fence – of street art –  to be shown and sewn at Splore – by festival goers [over a cup of tea]. Not in a lounge, but by the sea. Imagine.

It’s about conversation and community – it’s also about craft – nana craft but not as your nana might have done it.

Eight images, big ones, are sprayed on to fence mesh and then whoever chooses can come and handsew to help finish these works [and learn a craft at the same time].

There's a great team – of NZ street artists [including Ghstie, Dager and Benjamin Work], builders, sewers and YOU.

Curator [and cat-herder] Margaret Lewis has asked the artists involved to make a work about nanas – their nana, who she is, what she does, what she’s done, what they admire about her, what makes their nana special – after all everyone loves their nana.

"This project is about a number of things. As a designer, I use handcraft all the time in my work and I want other people to be inspired to build it into their work. That meant doing something to make an impact. Street art + embroidery + fence mesh, it was bound to pique someone's curiosity - I just hoped it would be the street art community."

"And I hoped the street artists would want to talk about their nanas - they certainly did. The works they are making honour grandmothers everywhere as well as all the things they do for us."

Margaret believes that another important aspect of this work is just about talking. "There's something about stitching and using your hands - its like an icebreaker to getting to know people - and making them feel welcome."

In line with Splore's sustainability strategy 'the street loves nana' plans to minimise the impact of making these works. Margaret has used some of her massive stash of wool [especially wool salvaged but damaged from a fire earlier this year] and found dismantled pallets for the frames.

"We'll also be collecting all the wool scraps that we'll put in baskets in the trees at Tapapakanga Regional Park for the birds to use in their nests."

Of course, every art project is a collaboration. Margaret has not done all this work herself, the project has built its own community of scavengers, builders, stitchers and NZ street artists all helping to make this happen.

Kickstart 'the street loves nana'

None of the works can happen without resources people and money. To help get 'the street loves nana' to Splore - there is a kickstarter campaign. Any pledges will help:

  • make the works themselves and get them to Splore and back again [materials, construction and transport]
  • give shade to all the stitchers at Splore [that could be you]
  • support the artists for their contribution.

'The street loves nana' is one of over 30 art installations at Splore held at Tapapakanga Regional Park [Auckland] from 14-16 February 2014.

Further information: 

Wondering who the artists are involved in 'the street loves nana'?

A clothing designer and also a marketer and mentor to many in the creative sector, Margaret Lewis lives a life surrounded by textile - in particular wool. Its in her room, in her car, on her desk at work... Designing handknits and clothing from upcycled fabrics has seen her branching out - applying those handcrafts in other fields.

Tapestry on a fence is a first for her – as it will be for all those who join in the stitching.

With TrustMe [Ross Liew] helping make contact in the NZ street art scene, they've engaged:

  • Dager | K Road local, Nigel Roberts 
  • Ghstie | Wellington street artist, Sean Duffell,
  • Benjamin Work | With a strong foundation in aerosol painting and graffiti, Work is a core member of the Auckland art collective, TMD. He has worked on diverse projects including large scale public mural commissions, limited edition wine boxes and postage stamps, and recently, his practice has also expanded to photography and performance.
  • TrustMe would be one of the most prolific and industrious artists around, with over 6000 stickers, posters, stencils and paintings produced in a 5 year period. From lamp posts to corporate interiors, TrustMe’s work has reached a wide audience in this time. His work has emerged from amongst the pop culture milieu to strike a chord with the public, evoking nostalgic references and lampooning our insecurities as a good friend might.

Can't wait to see their homages to their nanas ...

'The street loves nana' will be installed in the theme camping area at Splore 2014. It forms an intergral part of Camp Mother - an invitation to put your feet up in the front room and let Camp Mother take care of you. Have a cup of iced tea, read a magazine, play a board game, all to the most excellent sounds playing on the radiogram, while stitching your contribution to 'the street loves nana'.

'The street loves nana' is one of over 30 art installations to be installed at Splore 2014. A boutique music and arts festival like no other – held biennially Splore is set in Tapapakanga Regional Park [Auckland] and runs from 14-16 February 2014.

Contact details:

Written by

Margaret Lewis

6 Jan 2014

A bit about me ... maker, conceiver and producer at the leading edge of urban art practice.