06 Dec 2019
Ethical fashion label Kowtow and Aotearoa New Zealand’s contemporary art museum, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, are launching a limited edition collection in collaboration with artist Ruth Buchanan.
The collaboration ties in with a major new exhibition developed by Buchanan to mark the Gallery’s 50th anniversary launching on Saturday 7 December.
Titled ‘The scene in which I find myself / Or, where does my body belong’, the exhibition is a critical interrogation into the Gallery’s collection history, focusing on the cultural imbalances and ultimately the role and success of the museum.
Kowtow has worked with Buchanan to produce a lightweight scarf, hand-loomed from 100% fairtrade certified organic cotton, titled ‘A wavy line is drawn across the middle of the original plans’. Two t-shirts, made from 100% fairtrade certified organic cotton, are adorned with the two parts of the exhibition title, ‘The scene in which I find myself’ and ‘Where does my body belong’.
Berlin-based, New Zealand born Ruth Buchanan is the 2018 recipient of New Zealand’s most prestigious art award The Walters Prize. Her art frequently considers how art, language, gender and identity intersect.
Ruth Buchanan says the scarf, which is sized to adapt to many uses, ties in with the exhibition in regards to relationships and the body.
“My kaupapa for this exhibition is coming from a feminist space. The title is a statement of empowerment – thinking that we can choose the terms on how we reflect ourselves, question ourselves or produce ourselves. Like many things in our lives, the woven textile is an unstable document and can be used and claimed in multiple ways, to wrap around your body, your baby, hang on the wall, use as a tablecloth. It’s part of the thinking of the show to reimagine the formation of relating and relationship building.”
Govett-Brewster Art Gallery Co-Director Aileen Burns: “We’re excited by the opportunity to be working with and supporting such a high-end, sustainable New Zealand based label. Kowtow was the natural choice when deciding to create a limited edition wearable accompaniment to our exhibition.”
The Govett-Brewster Art Gallery was founded on a visionary exhibition and collection policy in 1970, established by New Plymouth woman Monica Brewster (nee Govett).
This product launch also coincides with the release of a Kowtow uniform jacket to be worn as uniform by Gallery staff.
The limited edition scarf and t-shirts will be sold exclusively at the Govett-Brewster Shop and online over the course of the exhibition. All sales from this merchandise help support art and exhibition making at New Zealand’s contemporary art museum.
Govett-Brewster Art Gallery Marketing and Communications
+64 6 7596717
Kowtow Founder & Creative Director Gosia Piatek: "As an art driven label, we've spent many hours at galleries across the world. We're always looking at the work of artists for inspiration in our own collections. When the opportunity to work with award winning textile artist, Ruth Buchanan arose, we were thrilled. Melding Ruth's colours, shapes & statements with our own fairtrade certified organic cotton has been a dream project."