The crafts of cross-stitch and crochet, usually associated with suburban mothers and grandmothers, have been adapted to sexual themes, with the exhibition's curator happy that her own work is labelled pornography.
The group show Done Dirt Cheap, which opened last week, features work by eight artists, five Kiwis and three Britons. Works include a crocheted penis and several cross-stitch designs depicting sex acts. Curator Angela Meyer, who made the cross-stitch works, said her work was harder than mere erotica: "It's pretty explicit stuff. It will be really interesting to see how it goes in New Zealand and see whether people embrace it or go: 'This is outrageous!'"
Ms Meyer, 29, learned to cross-stitch when she was a child. She was impressed by "the beautiful threads" for sale in Wellington craft stores, but "the patterns were just naff [nb: American readers, "unstylish, cliched, outmoded"] ...I'm not really a puppies and baskets kind of gal."
Where to start with such riches? First, I'm really tired of people thinking that all cross-stitch is puppies and country-style geese. I know some of it is, especially if you are only looking in the big box craft stores. I also have a sneaking suspiscion, based on what I see in the imported craft magazines, that a lot of what is available outside the U.S. is indeed naff. But I'm not going to knock my international readers for doing it, so I'll leave it at that.
We also have to do something, as young, hip, urban stitchers--and I know some of you reading this are--to change the idea that people who cross-stitch are suburban mothers and grandmothers! I'm pushing for the stitch n' bitch for um, real stitchers. (Knitting just isn't stitching to me. Stitching has needles with eyes. Try to convince me otherwise.) So go to meetup and sign up.
And what's with the idea that grandmothers aren't hot for porn? Apparently when you get old you dry up. Just check out what one old bastard's up to. Scroll down, all the way down. I'm warning you, they're nude. Of course this is erotica and the aforementioned material depicts "sex act." Now why can't I find that on the internet?
You probably expect some kind of feminist rant against porn, but I ain't your girl. "Outrageous" indeed.