Huge interest for NZ's first annual Art n Tartan wearable art awards in Waipu next month
The first ever New Zealand Art n Tartan wearable art awards will be held at the Waipu Coronation Hall, south of Whangarei, on July 3.
The event has already attracted more than 50 entries and will be the highlight of Tartan Week in Waipu from July 1 to 10. Nearly 1000 Scottish highlanders settled in Waipu in the 1850s.
``We are planning to grow Tartan Week to become a major national and international event,’’ organiser Jo McAulay said today.
The overall Supreme Award will be presented in memory of the late Alison Turner a well known local costume designer and actor. Cash prizes will be given to the winners of six categories which include: dressed to kilt; warriors, druids and bards; McKiwi; fairies, ghosts, giants and kelpies; and a body brush with tartan.
``Our winter in Waipu Tartan Day started five years ago and it’s grown from there. It has become so popular we now have it for a week. People from this small Scottish town, dust off the kilt, scarves and pipes and the town is awash with tartan.
``We even offer free haggis and shortbread in the shops if people are sporting tartan.’’
The Art n Tartan Wearable Art Awards has evolved from the July 1 day worldwide which annually celebrates the repeal of the Act of Proscription which forbade Highland men and boys to wear tartan for almost 40 years. The act was passed almost immediately after the Battle of Culloden in an attempt to curb the rebellious Highlanders and was repealed on July 1, 1782.
As one of two specifically Highland settlements in New Zealand, Waipu has a unique history. It was settled by Gaelic speaking Highlanders in the 1850s and this Scottish ancestry is celebrated every new year with the Annual Highland Games and at the Waipu Museum where a newly developed exhibition tells the powerful story of the extraordinary migration that brought them to New Zealand 150 years ago.
Among the celebrations in Waipu next month is a men-in-kilts rugby match.