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Finn Ferrier’s Knitted Goblets

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Finn Ferrier, Soft Garniture, 2020, detail, knitted cord Finn Ferrier, Soft Garniture, 2020, detail, knitted cord Finn Ferrier, Soft Garniture, 2020, detail, knitted cord

A series of loops (and attendant holes) are cleverly utilised to make the handles, with the extended woven cups having pronounced rims and sometimes spiralling ridges. These drooping forms of collapsed ‘china' are intricate and mesmerising. They are like stored winter pullovers that have mysteriously morphed into the family porcelain.

Titirangi

 

Finn Ferrier
Soft Garniture


5 December 2020 - 14 February 2021

I have always thought of Finn Ferrier as a geologist, a passionate collector of scoria and a social historian; an observant vulcanologist deeply knowledgeable about the mineral structures beneath the landscape of locations such as Mt Eden—one greatly interested in how that material was put to use. However this artist is also an accomplished knitter of soft cord, a maker in the nautical tradition of colourless supple forms that in this Te Uru show allude to groups of extravagantly ornate ceramics usually presented on shelves.

Displayed at the base of the sea-side Te Uru stairs—with the wall shrouded in black fabric for contrast—Ferrier presents on a shelf nine knitted ‘chalices’ or ‘urns’; floppy cup forms with handles or knobby protuberances to hold. The thin flexible pale-grey rope varies between a third and a fifth of an inch in thickness, and his forms feature a variety of stockinette stitch on the outside that reveals vertical stacks of descending v-shaped arrows.

A series of loops (and attendant holes) are cleverly utilised to make the handles, with the extended woven cups having pronounced rims and sometimes spiralling ridges. These drooping forms of collapsed ‘china’ are intricate and mesmerising. They are like stored winter pullovers that have mysteriously morphed into the family porcelain. The width of the cord makes you sit up, for the rhythms of the knitted textures are surprising. That and the unexpectedly surreal transformation to decorative sitting-room accoutrements.

They also have a subtly different look from woolly yarn; the line is not hairy or fuzzy. It is more cleanly linear; in a sense, more graphic. This makes the architecture of the knitted construction more obvious, even though overall they are like chocolate animals melting in the sun. They have no spine—becoming formless.

It is interesting that Ferrier’s titling word ‘garniture’ has the same root as ‘garnish’, both referencing adornment, but one for a room the other food. This modest but clearly wonderful show decorates your visit to Te Uru, blending two branches of craft while serving as idea and history loaded sculpture.

John Hurrell

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