Embroidered & Textile Art Works in Pubic Places in Otago

Chambered Nautilius

Location: Otago Girls High School, Tennyson Street, Dunedin

Designed and created in 1989 by Mrs Betty Fraser for the opening of the Mary King Wing. It was during Miss King’s years as Principal that the “Chambered Nautilius”, first composed for the Ballad of Light and Beauty, became the official school song. Presented by the Ex Girls’ Association on the occasion of the Opening of M.H.M King Building 1990.

Measures: 3m x 2m – padded wool shapes and panels, with surface embellishments of embroidery in both wool and metallic thread.

Enquire for permission to view.

The Warrior Queen

Location: Otago Girls High School, Tennyson Street, Dunedin

Wall hanging created by Dot Staub

Enquire for permission to view.

Sesquicentennial Tapestry

Location: First Church, Moray Place, Dunedin

The story of the Settlement of Otago in 1848. Tapestry hand worked in wool by 19 women of the Church over six years and 6000 hours. Designed and supervised by Jan Wilson.

Measures: 12ft x 4ft.

To view: The Church is open every day during daylight hours. Postcards are available in foyer.

Otago Mural

Location: Trust Bank Otago, 379 George Street, Dunedin.

Depicts first 100 years of Otago History. Created by the Otago Embroiderer’ Guild members for their 10th Anniversary and presented to the Otago Savings Bank in 1971.

Measures: 260cm x 92cm. Surface stitchery, machine embroidery, canvas work and applique.

Saint Margaret’s Panels

Location: St Margaret’s Presbyterian Church, Green Island.

Commissioned and gifted by the late Mr H.H. Richmond.

Designed by the late Margaret Sharpe and embroidered by members of the Otago Embroiderers’ Guild in 1979. Represents the history of the Green Island Church, from their first service under a black pine tree.


Measures: 30cm x 100cm for each of the three panels.  Applique, machine embroidery, surface stitchery and san blas.

Enquire for permission to view.

Annunciation Banner

Location: Holy Name Roman Catholic Church, Great King Street, Dunedin

Commissioned by Holy Name Parish in memory of Father William Quinn, their first parish priest. Designed by Jan Wilson, 1981.

Measures: 455cm x 214 cm – machine piecing, dyed fabrics, net overlays.

To view: open every week day, right-hand side door facing church is unlocked. At weekends, ring the Presbytery next door at 420 Great King Street, ph 4790066.

Library Banner

Location: Reed Rare Book Room, Third Floor, Dunedin Public Library.

Designed by Jan Wilson and embroidered by members of the Otago Embroiderers’ Guild. Presented to the D.C.C. on the occasion of the Guild’s 20th Anniversary. Sponsored by Penroses Department Store.

Measures: 152cm x 115cm – patchwork background, applique, surface stitchery, couching and goldwork.

Viewing available when library is open.

Creation Banners (set of 7)

Location: Hospital Chapel, Dunedin Public Hospital, cnr Hanover & Cumberland Sts.

A set of seven banners, commissioned by the Dunedin Hospital Chapel Committee, with materials funded by the Nurses Chapel fund. Designed by Gay Eaton and embroidered by members of the Otago Embroiderers’ Guild 1986 on the occasion of their 25th Anniversary. Each banner portrays “ A day” in the Genesis story of Creation. The background colours are those of the Old English Liturgical Year.

Measures 150cm x 56cm – fabrics sprayed dyed, metal thread and gold work embroidery.

View during normal hospital hours.

Oncology Panel

Location: Foyer of Oncology Unit, Dunedin Public Hospital

Designed by Ingrid Emerson, supervised by Jean Hart and embroidered by members of the Otago Embroiderers’ Guild. This Guild project was the result of a request from the Radiotherapy Department to create a panel that was “warm, welcoming and fun’. The design was based on a map of Otago and Southland (the catchment area for the unit) – geographically true but giving impressions of our area in colour and textural stitchery, to be worked as individual pieces.

Measures: Approximately 8ft x 4ft, made up of 24 panels arranged in 3 rows of 8; each panel 14”x10” using 10 count canvas. Painted canvas, embroidered with a great variety of stitches to produce well textured areas, using mainly knitting wools.

View during normal working hours.

Margery Blackman (two large tapestries)

Location: Mornington Methodist Church, cnr Galloway and Whitby Sts.

Designed by hymn writer Colin Gibson, this hanging was commissioned by the late Alex Mabon and given to the Church in his memory by his family. A central feature of the design is the text. The hanging was worked by Jeanette Gibson and Robin Aitken. It represents six hundred hours of work and was completed between August and December 1990.

Measures: 16ft x14ft – worked in six sections, hand stitched together with overlapping design section applied last. Lettering of padded gold and silver kid shadowed by bond letters of silk organza and stitchery. A little machine embroidery but most of the design is meticulously handstitched.

View by ringing the Mornington Parsonage.

Koinonia and Let Thy Light Shine

Location: Maori Hill Presbyterian Church, 71 Drivers Road, Maori Hill, Dunedin.

Two wall hangings designed and created by Dr Brenda Shore, October 1990.

Each measures 8ft x 4ft – dyed silk with applique and embroidery.

View during office hours 9am – 12pm.

Wall hanging for Edinburgh Room

Location: Municipal Chambers, Dunedin City Council, The Octagon, Dunedin.

In 1990, The Option Five Group was commissioned by the Dunedin City Council to produce a wallhanging, for acoustic and asthetic reasons, for the recently furbished Committee Room in the Municipal Chambers. Option Five member: Robin Aitken, Jenny Bain, Gay Eaton, Maureen Trevor and Jan Wilson, worked together to develop a suitable design which was to include as many images as possible depicting life in the Greater Dunedin Area: shopping, industry, farming, sports and recreation, wildlife and well-known historical buildings.

Measures: 6m x 2m – made in 6 panels of dyed canvas with hand-dyed ribbons applied by machine and machine embroidered images in cobalt blue thread.

View by ringing Mayor’s office during normal working hours.

Hanging (woven)

Location: Studholm Hall of residence Dining Room.

By Peter Collingwood, United Kingdom.

View by contacting Studholm Hall of residence.


Location: Telford Farm Training Institute, Mosgiel


Location: Mosgiel Service Centre, Hartstonge Avenue, Mosgiel

Created by Mrs Betty Fraser of North Taieri. Design based on a Maori legend depicts the origin of Mosgiel. Developed with plan of building in 1981. Legend pamphlet is available.

Measures: 7m x 2m – padded woollen shapes embellished with surface stitchery. View during office hours.

Invermay Panel

Location: Invermay Agricultural Centre, Puddle Alley, Mosgiel.

Commissioned by the Invermay Agricultural Centre for the new complex opened in 1986. Designed and embroidered by Jan Wilson. Depicts environment and functions on the Invermay Agricultual Research Centre.

Measures: 244cm x 122cm – machine piecing, applique, hand stitchery and dyeing. View during office hours.

Book Review

Crewel Intentions by Hazel Blomkamp, published by Search Press Ltd 2014

A beautiful book on crewel work which in the words of the author “sets out to show you how to take Jacobean or crewel embroidery to another level”.  Getting away from wool, which is the usual thread for this style of stitching, to using cotton, rayon and metallic threads, embellished with beads and crystals.

For each of the six projects, there are clear and careful instructions. Each project is broken down into elements; these elements are then highlighted by photographs with numbered instructions and useful tips. The introduction covers materials, tools and stitch gallery and the templates of the patterns are located in the back of the book.

The unusual stitches, the colorways used and the quality of the photography make it a very exciting book that I’m sure will make it hard to put down.

My copy was purchased by Ribbon Rose, but it is widely available.

Hazel Blomkamp hails from South Africa. This is her forth book.

Review by Peggy Johnston.