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Profile of Betty Fraser
About Betty Fraser
Betty Fraser passed away in January 2004.
This project profiles the textile works of Betty Fraser. It provides galleries of images of Betty Fraser's work including her wool murals and her silk paintings. It also presents some of her early paintings.
Born in 1927 at Balclutha, Betty Fraser studied at Otago University in Dunedin, graduating with a BA. She then trained as a Primary School Teacher at Dunedin Teachers' College and specialised as an art teacher.
She taught art and art history at various Otago secondary schools for over 25 years as well as being the mother of seven children. She has Ngai Tahu ancestry from Otakou, Dunedin.
She exhibited with the Otago Art Society and was an artist member of the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts.
Many of her works also incorporated hand embroidery, in particular needle weaving. She also incorporated batik and felting as well as knitting and crochet. The use of knitting machines was to became a feature of her large wool murals.
The largest piece is in the Mosgiel Civic Centre and is 5.5m long and 2m high. It depicts the Maori legend of the Taieri taniwha or water monster.
Other works are housed in the Otago University, the Taieri High School, the Clutha County Council Office, the Balclutha Social Welfare Office as well as at Otago Girls' High School, Dunedin.
Betty Fraser began to paint on silk in the late 1980s through to the mid 1990s. Still life with flowers was her preferred subject matter as she felt the brilliance of flowers is enhanced by the clarity of the dyes used.
Angela Fraser, POI Research Team, School of Art and Design, Auckland University of Technology, 2002