Motoko Watanabe

A nest in town

10 February 2017 - 23 April 2017


To make a nest is to construct a temporary safe haven — a place for comfort, rest and warmth. Motoko Watanabe’s soft fabric installation A nest in town crafts an alternative inner-city dwelling, using found textiles and organic materials, gathered and gleaned from the artist’s local environment. 

This makeshift assemblage nestled into the pocket of the Rear Window extends the artist’s self-taught skills in basket making and owes much to the artistic process of weaving. She compiles old mattresses, chairs, timber offcuts, layers of cardboard, natural fibres, second hand fabrics and woollen blankets — as an analogy for the architecture of the natural world.

Motoko Watanabe is a Dunedin-based artist with an interest in traditional craft and soft sculpture, often using recycled materials in her work. She completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in traditional Japanese painting at Kanazawa City University of Fine Art and Craft, Kanazawa, Japan, 1993, and studied traditional Japanese painting at Joshibi University of Fine Art, Tokyo, Japan in 1989.

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