Film: Tī kōuka folk workshop

A wonderful project for you and your young folk, this workshop film shares with you a fun way to create little figures or folk from tī kōuka (cabbage tree/cordyline australis) leaves. This 8 minute film with Gemma Stratton will guide you & your young folk through the simple process of making these sweet figures from fallen soaked tī kōuka leaves. 

Additional films: You will also receive two other films including 

1. an introduction to Rekindle and our workshops which explains the kaupapa or the central idea behind our sharing of these resourceful skills. This film also sets the context of our work here in Aotearoa New Zealand, and acknowledges Māori as tangata whenua, those indigenous to this land. 

2. an introduction to how we prepare to work with tī kōuka leaves, and how we consider carefully as pākehā our work with tī kōuka in the context of this being a vital part of the ecosystem we live within, and tūpuna or ancestor to Māori. 

You'll need: A pile of 20 or more leaves that have fallen from tī kōuka (cabbage tree/Cordyline Australis), these leaves need to be soaked in water for 24-48 hours. You could try a similar natural fibre that you have where you are. Scissors. Water. Bucket, bath or tarpaulin to soak your leaves in. And you might need someone to work with too.

Background to this technique: This way of making figures from this material is a non-traditional use of the tī kōuka in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Māori have many traditions in caring for and working with this precious plant, of which this is not one. We honour the longstanding relationship between Māori and tī kōuka and weave mindfully in the context of the impacts of colonisation on craft practices here. 

The technique taught here comes from Gemma Stratton's playful exploration of the life in tī kōuka whilst spending many hours weaving baskets, lampshades and making brushes.

Your tutor: Gemma has been a resident craftsperson at Rekindle and is one of our regular tutors. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Canterbury School of Fine Arts, and weaves her long-held dedication to resourcefulness into everything she touches.   @g.m.stratton

This trailer below will give you a sense for the wonderful film work by Hilary Jean Tapper and sound by Alexander Yerks, and sound by Kuva Zakheim.

 We are grateful that the production of these films was made possible by a grant from Creative New Zealand, and the dedication of the tutors involved. 





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