Ann Hodson and Sheryn Shackleton displaying an example of Anna’s work

Like the pattern of a Persian carpet Anna Williams wove stories of her life’s journey amidst tales of craft and culture to two intimate groups in her tiny studio off Tory Street. She paid homage to the unseen, unknown craftsmen. To us they are treasures, to grace our floors or walls. To the artisans in Iran, Anna’s ‘heaven on earth’, they were everyday items with their stories and tradition embedded in the textures of nature. One of her most cherished carpets is one she met the weaver of. A rare occurrence indeed said Anna.

Anna’s journey into a love of weaving and carpets began very early, but her passion for the repair and restoration of these Oriental treasure has taken her to the deepest tribal area of Persia; in particular the Qashqu’i tribes of southern Iran.

Far from highlighting her own great gifts in preserving New Zealand carpets (she is one of a dying breed), Anna regaled us with tales of meeting David Attenborough, the inner sanctums of women’s lives and the variety and beauty of the fabric of life in the woven world.

Feature image: Photo Jillian Wellings, Friends of Te Papa