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"Twenty years ago, after travelling extensively overseas, my mother (Rita Pickering) returned to New Zealand with a dream. She had appreciated all the different cultures she had encountered and noticed that most had their own cultural form of weaving which was still being handmade in those countries. She wished for the form of weaving she had learned as a child to be more widely celebrated in our country. So, she went to work simplifying what she had been taught and came up with a method for contemporary korowai weaving.

The renewed interest and resurgence in cloak weaving have been due, in part, to her hard work over the last twenty years.

My daughters and I have had the privilege to learn from her and continue the work she began then. Each piece created is a precious connection to our past and culture and serves as a cherished heirloom for future generations".

Sharlene is one of a group of artists sharing their studio practice during the upcoming February 2023 Mahurangi Artist Studio Trail at Venue 7, Warkworth Town Hall. Details of Venue 7's location and opening hours can be found on

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