Artist’s Gore link enhances exhibition

Despite not being edible, a new exhibition at the Eastern Southland Art Gallery is a mouthwatering sight.

An exhibit created by Auckland-based artist Bev Moon has a yum cha feast at the centre of it — not edible food, but knitted wool.

The idea to create food-based knitting came to her during the Covid-19 lockdowns.

‘‘I thought ‘oh, I’m just gonna try knitting some food’,’’ Moon said.

‘‘The first thing I did was the pork buns.’’

She first began knitting at the age of 8, she said.

The art was a tribute to her mother and grandmother, whose skills of knitting and cooking were passed down to her.

‘‘That was the reason I knitted yum cha because I wanted to weave those two crafts into an art work and tell a story.’’

Although this was her first visit to the Gore district, Moon has deep-rooted connections with the area.

Her ancestors came to New Zealand from China in search of gold and ended up running a laundry in Gore in the 1880s.

‘‘It’s actually really significant for me to bring this show to Gore.’’

The laundry was first opened on Main St, then moved to Mersey St, and finally to Medway St, she said.

‘‘I really wanted it to come to Gore especially because of that connection . . .it’s just over 100 years since my grandfather went [back to China].’’

Art Gallery programmes officer Marcella Geddes said they were delighted to be hosting Moon’s tribute to her Chinese mother and grandmother.

‘‘Bev has strong connections to Gore, with her ancestors having come to the area in the 1880s in search of gold, and later running a laundry in Gore’s CBD.’’

The exhibition opened on Friday and would be available to view until January 21.