20/30 – Decolonising your wardrobe

rontekawa2Tonight I went to the Square Edge Community Arts Centre for the opening exhibition by clothing artist Ron Te Kawa.  The theme for Ron’s exhibition was Matariki and the clothing was amazingly wonderful to see.  The exhibition runs until July 11, then Ron will have a permanent exhibition space within Square Edge (yay!).


Ron is the master of recycling and re-purposing materials for his creations, and what a gorgeously wonderful man he is. He is one of those people who just shine with vibrant energy and you find yourself spellbound to everything he is saying (he’s a great storyteller).


Ron’s creations include the wrap around skirt below comprised of other clothing pieces (perhaps a school uniform, a tea towel, a blanket, or any number of things, skirts, trousers etc).  The feathers on the bird are made from neck ties.  Ron also screen prints onto his creations and carries a number of unique stencils for his customers to use.


Ron is holding a ‘decolonise your wardrobe’ workshop tomorrow at our library.  This involves taking in items from your current wardrobe and giving them a bit of a ‘zoosh’ up.  There are no limits other than one’s imagination and one of Ron’s ideas I like is to remove the sleeves from a dress jacket, add a hoodie at the neck then stencil a Māori inspired design to the front panel.  (Trust me they look stunning).

rontekawa3Ron also makes handbags from jackets, trousers and with neck ties used as the bag strap – they’re quite stunning to see and feature a lot on his Facebook page.

Such a simple concept and a very clever way to reuse materials.

Tomorrow I’m rostered to work when the workshop is on, BUT have thought ahead and am sending in a ‘rep’ for me (Thank you daughter!). I look forward to popping in during my lunch break and taking some photos of the creativity in action.

I’m looking forward to Ron’s next exhibition featuring Super Hero Māori Women 🙂


(All photos taken from Ron Te Kawa’s facebook page ‘My Beautiful Life’).



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