Point of View

Taken from ‘Aotea Centre Works of Art’, edited by Tara Werner, written by Karen Scherer and Katherine Findlay.

‘Point of View’ is a subtle work created by Kate Wells, one of a group of works commissioned for Aotea – Te Pokapū | Aotea Centre. Woven in a single piece, a special vertical loom with roller beams top and bottom was used to make the 8 x 1 metre tapestry in one length. Lining one wall of the Level 2 lift lobby, leading to the Owens Foyer in Aotea Centre the viewer walks past the work, moving from perspective to perspective.

The warp is cotton and the weft is 80 percent wool, 10 percent cotton, and 10 percent linen. This mixture gives lustre to the surface. For her palette, Wells used approximately 250 commercially dyed colours, with six strands blended in each tuft to produce the exact shade she wanted.

The main design themes are elevation and location. "My intention was to create a work that could sustain the interest of the viewer and yet not shout out for attention," says Wells. "I wanted the tapestry to give a softening effect to the room, yet stand strongly as a thought-generating work."

Originally hung in Waihorotiu 1 on Level 4 of Aotea Centre, the floor plan of this room is included in the far right panel – "D2" represents the wall the tapestry hung on. Two other panels depict a less intimate view – that from the room's windows across to the Auckland Town Hall. On a more general level, the Auckland region as a whole is represented by a detailed map, and the volcanic form of Rangitoto Island can be seen as from the air.

Shapes fly across the tapestry. There are calligraphic signs and abstract birds. By combining abstract and realistic images, Wells links imagination with reality. Like the window frame device, they enable the viewer to shift from one location to another.

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