Peruvian artist weaves his magic

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Fifth-generation Peruvian tapestry weaver Maximo Laura works mainly with alpaca and llama fibre, but in Ashburton he felt the softness of wool.

Mr Laura is recognised as one of South America’s pre-eminent textile artists, and his work is displayed around the world.

He is in New Zealand at the invitation of Creative Fibre, and visited the Ashford Craft Shop in Ashburton, and the Ashburton Spinners and Weavers Guild spin in at the Tinwald Hall.

It was there he enthused over the softness, colour and feel of wool – and told the story of how his work is imbued with the legends and story-telling of Peru and his life experience.

Mr Laura, in New Zealand with his daughter Paola, said he tried to put messages into his work – poetry, lyric, and spirituality.

He lives and works in Lima, Peru, and a New Zealand woman who attended one of his workshops encouraged him to visit New Zealand.

He is glad he did.

His work is displayed in the World Bank in Washington DC, the UNESCO headquarters in Paris and the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.

He said in Peru nearly two million people wove, with many people taking looms with them.

“You see people walking, talking and weaving,” he said.

Mr Laura said he was interested to see Maori culture.

His exhibition, Eternal Vision, is on at Pataka gallery, Porirua, until August 27.

An example of Maximo’s fine work.