Bag it up

SWEET AS: Carved wooden kumara belly-out a crocheted bag by Gisborne artist Conor Jeory. Pictures supplied
OFF THE TOP OF YOUR HEAD: Created by Conor Jeory, human hair tied end-to-end to make thread went into the making of this lightweight, crocheted bag that holds an equally light feather.
TINY HOUSES: A timber off-cut inspired artist Conor Jeory to make a range of small carved meeting houses, pataka (store house) and palisade sections from macrocarpa.

Human hair, beachcombed manuka and wooden kumara are among materials artist Conor Jeory is working with on his two most recent projects.

The hair is part of a crocheted bag project inspired by Clayton Gibson’s carving of a wooden kete stuffed with kumara. Jeory bought the carving, and the three or four loose wooden kumara that came with the work, some years ago. He put the loose kumara in an ancient string bag and set it against the carved kete — which gave him the idea to crochet similar bags himself — but from human hair.

“All of a sudden I saw another artwork,” he says.

“This European technology is helping out with these other pieces because now I’ve made crocheted bags.”

All he needed then was something to put into them.

While scouring the beach for washed up fence posts to carve Jeory found instead piles of manuka. He took them home and stacked the timber in his mum’s driveway. Manuka driftwood is perfect for carving kumara, he says.

“The string bag and manuka kumara go together. I call the piece Sweet As.”

The gold kumara tones of carved macrocarpa, “poor man’s totara” tie together any arrangement on the wall of small, carved, whare and sections of palisade. The rhomboid shape of a timber offcut a friend had left on a shelf suggested to Jeory the flattened form of the tiny house designs.

“I made a cardboard model of it and immediately I saw a whare shape in it.”

The laws of each piece aim at a different vanishing point.

When he was invited to contribute work to an exhibition Jeory got the idea to mount the pieces on the wall which extended the original concept.

“If they were put on the wall there would also have to be palisades and a pataka on a post.”

He shaped each stave for the palisade sections to roughly suggest the human form.

“You can hang them how and where you like,” says Jeory.

The idea recalls Richard Killeen’s cut-outs that could be arranged in any formation on the wall and served to reflect the artist’s intent to “escape the frame”. A range of images Killeen inked onto price labels were small enough to fit in a matchbox. Jeory does not store or transport his whare iti components in a matchbox but in brown paper coffee bags.

The pieces have proved popular. Hamilton’s David Lloyd Gallery sold Jeory’s contribution to the group show before the exhibition had even opened.

Human and dog hair are materials Jeory has explored for some time. A suspended net of it inside a long timber box was the artist’s entry in the 2018 Te Ha Arts Awards.

His use of human hair has moved into new ideas but dog hair is a material Jeory has worked with for some time. He has previously created cloaks from small twists of dog hair. Human hair is finer but Jeory knots single strands of various colours end to end and winds the thread onto a spool. He plaits the strands then crochets them into hair-string bags.

Because the raison d’etre of a bag is to hold stuff even a feather has enough weight to give a crocheted human hair shopping bag form.

Human hair, beachcombed manuka and wooden kumara are among materials artist Conor Jeory is working with on his two most recent projects.

The hair is part of a crocheted bag project inspired by Clayton Gibson’s carving of a wooden kete stuffed with kumara. Jeory bought the carving, and the three or four loose wooden kumara that came with the work, some years ago. He put the loose kumara in an ancient string bag and set it against the carved kete — which gave him the idea to crochet similar bags himself — but from human hair.

“All of a sudden I saw another artwork,” he says.

“This European technology is helping out with these other pieces because now I’ve made crocheted bags.”

All he needed then was something to put into them.

While scouring the beach for washed up fence posts to carve Jeory found instead piles of manuka. He took them home and stacked the timber in his mum’s driveway. Manuka driftwood is perfect for carving kumara, he says.

“The string bag and manuka kumara go together. I call the piece Sweet As.”

The gold kumara tones of carved macrocarpa, “poor man’s totara” tie together any arrangement on the wall of small, carved, whare and sections of palisade. The rhomboid shape of a timber offcut a friend had left on a shelf suggested to Jeory the flattened form of the tiny house designs.

“I made a cardboard model of it and immediately I saw a whare shape in it.”

The laws of each piece aim at a different vanishing point.

When he was invited to contribute work to an exhibition Jeory got the idea to mount the pieces on the wall which extended the original concept.

“If they were put on the wall there would also have to be palisades and a pataka on a post.”

He shaped each stave for the palisade sections to roughly suggest the human form.

“You can hang them how and where you like,” says Jeory.

The idea recalls Richard Killeen’s cut-outs that could be arranged in any formation on the wall and served to reflect the artist’s intent to “escape the frame”. A range of images Killeen inked onto price labels were small enough to fit in a matchbox. Jeory does not store or transport his whare iti components in a matchbox but in brown paper coffee bags.

The pieces have proved popular. Hamilton’s David Lloyd Gallery sold Jeory’s contribution to the group show before the exhibition had even opened.

Human and dog hair are materials Jeory has explored for some time. A suspended net of it inside a long timber box was the artist’s entry in the 2018 Te Ha Arts Awards.

His use of human hair has moved into new ideas but dog hair is a material Jeory has worked with for some time. He has previously created cloaks from small twists of dog hair. Human hair is finer but Jeory knots single strands of various colours end to end and winds the thread onto a spool. He plaits the strands then crochets them into hair-string bags.

Because the raison d’etre of a bag is to hold stuff even a feather has enough weight to give a crocheted human hair shopping bag form.

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