Kate Wells

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1961

Traffic Island Crawl

  • Purchased, 1991
  • Tapestry
  • 845 x 1040mm
  • 91/37
  • 1989

This tapestry is based on Kate Wells' observations and experiences of a traffic island in Oriental Bay, Wellington. The yellow flowers in the middle of the traffic are a serene reminder of nature, while circling the traffic island are shark fins in the road/sea, symbolising human drivers, aggressive in nature, trying to manoeuvre around the island as quickly as possible. Traffic Island Crawl is a contemporary, brightly coloured tapestry that abstracts and simplifies forms. To create different textures, Wells often mixes fibres such as cotton, linen and wool. These combine to give her work detail and a threedimensional quality. Wells was born in Foxton and studied textile design at Wellington Polytechnic. She received a Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council Grant in 1986 that enabled her to travel to Europe to study both early and contemporary tapestries. In 1988 Wells was invited to lecture at an international tapestry symposium in Melbourne and in 1989 she won the Wool Interior Design Award. Many of her works are in public collections.