b'Edith Ryan, who was head of the Crafts Council for manyviewed on its own. Of course, any other colours can be years, offered me an exhibition in Wellington and everyused as that secondary contrast, and the results can be piece sold. The difference lay in promoting a rug as purelyanywhere from elevating to frankly political.practicalneutral, ordinary and suitable for anywhereNaturally, the artists with whom he works are experts inor presenting it as a designed object, a piece of art. their own palettes and forms, and when a buyer likes those This may account for why Dilanas tipping point cameshades and that style, the rug works for them as well as when Hugh took space in the Christchurch Arts Centreany painting or sculpture might do, observes Hugh. in the late 1980s. DonPeebles,forexample,workedwithusbackin Suddenly, we had lots of visitors coming through andthe1980sandtaughtussomuchaboutcolourand were exposed to all sorts of new ideas. And, quite bycomposition, he explains. And we can now execute accident, I was rubbing shoulders with up-and-comingthese to a really sophisticated level. artists who are now some of the countrys most celebratedIt can, however, take forever to get the dyes right. A lot talents, he says. It was the start of a great chemistryof Kate Wells work is particularly tricky, for example, heResenebetween us: I knew wool and carpet manufacture, andEighth Blancsays. Thats why we end up creating new shades, like the these people were the future soul of the design industryReseneWells ochre and the Hotere red. Stonehengein New Zealand.From then to now, Hughs rugs have been a collaboration between household function and great New Zealand art. And thats very much how the artists see it too. Names likeHotere,Frizzell,Peebles,Chilcott,LyallandWells have designed not just one work, but whole series, all meticulously replicated in hand-tufted colour. For them, its simply now a part of their oeuvre.Carpet is the medium, says artist Bing Dawe, describing the appeal. I like playing around with images, and carpet has a nice form. You can re-create a landscapeyou can walk in, around and on it.Hugh himself learnt a lot about form and colour over the years, he admits. The result has been the evolution of his own tastes in colour, which are typically technical in their foundation. Stock Takeby Bing Dawe.Idontpersonallytendtofavouranyoneindividual shade; I go more for the harmony of several alongside each other. Any one colour on its own, in a purist sense, can seem lacking without the support of one or several secondary underlying ones, he explains. I see black or white as the two simplest choices to use as contrasts. For example, I nd it much easier to appreciate the colour value of, say, a rich chocolate brown when it can be measured against black, rather than when its justClematis by Tim Main.| 75'