World Shibori Network

Celebrating the visual languages of PEOPLE, COMMUNITY, CULTURE, and ENVIRONMENT through the global practice of resist-dye traditions and innovations, keeping in mind authenticity, reciprocity, and networking.

Deb Donnelly

Wellington, NEW ZEALAND



New Zealand artist Deb Donnelly specializes in design for textile print and fashion, on both natural dyed merino wool and fine silk cloth as well as hi tech garments and fibres. Her vision is to communicate ideas about specific cultures and themes. In 1993, she received a grant that allowed her to study in Japan all aspects of design, print and art education as a guest of the Japanese government. The cross cultural insights helped prepare her for a teaching career in New Zealand and build her textile business, KIAJA, into a unique textile design practice. In 2006, she completed a masters program that deepened her design aesthetic and focus. In 2008, she showed her work at the New Zealand Trade & Enterprise in Manila, Philippines, alongside fashion and business companies trading in Asia. A practitioner and educator in the field of design, Deb has been a tutor in the Visual Arts Dept at Whitireia Community Polytechnic Porirua, New Zealand since 2000. Before her teaching career, she worked as design coordinator for printed textiles. Deb is a founding member of Aotearoa Felters New Zealand. She is available for commissioned artworks and individual garments.

“I design and make art textiles that breathe contemporary life into traditional materials and techniques. Asia Pasifika design has always been an integral part of my life and practice. The name Kiaja is derived from my Kiwi, Japanese and Australian heritage roots.”



Finalist, Westfield Style Pasifika  2007

Finalist, Cult Couture  2007

NZ Design Education Grant, 1993



Visual Arts, Whitireia Community Polytechnic Porirua, NZ



Founding member, Aotearoa Felters New Zealand