Fruit grow­ing in­spires win­ning en­try


‘‘It was amaz­ing to win the supreme award but to win the peo­ple's choice was a com­plete sur­prise.’’

An in­tri­cate and colour­ful gar­ment based around fruit grow­ing in the Te­viot Val­ley won the votes of the crowd, as well as judges at a wear­able art awards in a fruit cool store in Cen­tral Otago.

A sell­out crowd of 350 packed into the T&G Pipfruit Cool­store in Et­trick on Satur­day for the sec­ond Te­viot Val­ley Wear­able Tar­tan Art Awards.

Et­trick friends Gill Booth and Beryl Tomkin won their Canny Celtic Kiwi Cre­ation cat­e­gory with their ‘‘glam­our gar­ment’’ - Te­viot Glory, and took out the Peo­ple’s Choice cat­e­gory and the Over­all Supreme Award.

Tomkin said they were ‘‘deeply sat­is­fied’’ tak­ing out wins in three cat­e­gories, but en­ter­ing was more about giv­ing plea­sure to other peo­ple than win­ning the con­test.

‘‘It was amaz­ing to win the supreme award, but to win the peo­ple’s choice was a com­plete sur­prise be­cause of the amount of other gar­ments and the plea­sure they gave the crowd. To have the au­di­ence ap­pre­ci­ate what you have tried to do is quite some­thing. You are not just out there to win. That’s not the at­ti­tude at all. It is the plea­sure the other peo­ple are go­ing to get from it.’’

The gar­ment took about four months of phys­i­cal work to make, how­ever the pair started think­ing about it af­ter win­ning with a gar­ment at the first wear­able art awards two years ago, Tomkin said.

‘‘It was based around the fruit­grow­ing in the re­gion and it evolved. We made a gar­ment that re­flected blos­som time through to the har­vest. Blos­som was made from tar­tan rib­bon and fabric, on a hes­sian fabric back­ground, then we added leaves and flow­ers. The bot­tom was lat­tice work which we put ar­ti­fi­cial fruit and leaves on. It also had a head­dress that rep­re­sented the sun that we have here.

‘‘It was just rep­re­sen­ta­tive of what makes this val­ley tick and what is im­por­tant to this val­ley, which is fruit­grow­ing. It has been the val­ley’s his­tory, eco­nomic and so­cial side and it is still im­por­tant to us.’’

Their model, Missy Ver­non, helped give the pair the edge, Tomkin sus­pected.

‘‘She took on a dif­fer­ent per­sona when she put that dress on. A lot of peo­ple said how beau­ti­ful she looked.

‘‘The idea was to make a glam­our gar­ment and she re­ally car­ried it off well.’’


Gill Booth and Beryl Tomkin, of Et­trick, with their cre­ation, Te­viot Glory.

Beryl Tomkin

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