Norma Slabbert : House Home Place
Saturday 1 October 2022 11.00am -
Sunday 6 November 2022 3.00pm
House Home Place is a collection of wall and bed quilts by Norma Slabbert. Her quilts speak about the concept of home as a physical and social place between our roots, and our future, and the hold it has on our bones.
With its nostalgic reference to home and protection, the quilt is an ideal form to express the mood and mess of our time. Slabbert uses quilts to develop ideas on home, duality, lightness, and darkness.
The quilt language of two traditional quilt patterns are drawn upon – the Log Cabin and the checkered Nine Patch – for their compelling connection with home.
A quilt is traditionally made with three layers: a top fabric, usually pieced and embellished, a middle batting layer, and a backing fabric. The fabric sandwich is held together with machine or hand quilt stitches.
The quilt of today, however, is more than a three layer blanket; it is a cloth with many meanings. Whether we use it as a warm and cosy wrap, or an object to ornament a room; a quilt is always a historical document that tells the story of place, and the quiltmaker’s life and time – with needle and thread.
Will home ever be the same again? Since the office moved in, home has become much more than a private shelter. It has become a makeshift workplace, a school, a playground, a social hub, a media centre, and everything in between.
Even our bedrooms have become zoom-ready stylised spaces to shine online. The blurring lines between work and personal life put our most intimate spaces and safety blankets on display. Will this new concept of home rewire our understanding of privacy and exposure?
Norma Slabbert is a quiltmaker and writer from Hamilton. She has been using the quilt form as her medium of expression for more than thirty years.
During a mid-career break, Slabbert backpacked through Europe to visit galleries and museums to study art and quilt making. The experience inspired a lifelong commitment to quilt making. Upon return, she got actively involved in the quilt world while working as a gallery curator. It gave her a platform to promote the quilt as an art form by curating quilt exhibitions in a gallery context which was ground-breaking at the time.
As a migrant and journalist, Slabbert’s quilts often consider the concept of home, coming and going, place and displacement, and the space between. Her work also reflects on the mundane, the realities of daily life, emotional truths, social, and world worries.
Since retirement, Slabbert spends her days on all things quilt making: doing the stitches, reading, researching, writing, judging quilt competitions, and exhibiting. She has published books on quilt making, and wrote for New Zealand Quiltmaker until it ceased publication.
Norma Slabbert is an award winning quiltmaker that shows her work locally and internationally. House, Home, Place is her fifth solo exhibition.