Travels in Textiles


Monday, 22 November 2010

knitting, stitching and pairings

In spite of the weather warnings, I braved the journey to Harrogate on Sunday to visit the Knitting and Stitching show, at the harrogate international centre. The journey there was smooth, but the snow came six hours earlier than forecast so of course the whole town came to stand still, and on the way back, what should have been a 2 hour journey turned into a six hour feat.

However, I was glad I made it. Never having been before, I was overwhelmed at the amount of yarn, stitch, crafts, beads and all sorts of other curiosities and wonderments associated with knitting ans stitching in one huge centre.

The textile gallery was of the most interest to me, and I particularly enjoyed the exhibition of my fellow students and staff at Manchester metropolitan University. It was to accompany the recently published Machine stitch perspectives by Alice Kettle and Jane McKeating. Both the book and the exhibition celebrate the beauty of the sewing machine and the vast amount of results it can produce.

The two are now working an an accompanying book, Hand Stitch Perspectives. Jane's chapters will include some of the communities in India, particularly Gujarat, working in hand embroidery, and some of the projects that are working alongside the artisans to help create sustainable markets for them.

Alice and Jane's work also featured in the MMU project Pairings which was exhibited in the university library from July to November this year. I was intrigued at the outcomes of the collaborative of artists from different disciplines and how two contrasting mediums worked alongside together.

The above work must have been influence by the envelope dowry bags distinctive to embroidering communities in India. Below is the back of one of these bags made by the Dhebaria Rabari community of Kachchh.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Holi article

I'm please to see my article about Holi published in the new issue of Masquerade magazine. - page 9. It fits nicely into the celebration theme, and I love the vibrancy of the images and the way its been laid out.

Celebrating with the locals, Holi 2008 in Hampi.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

an unusual spot to find a rug

The other day I went walking in the Goyt valley in Cheshire and came across this scrap of fabric imbedded in the track leading to a farm. It was sad to see that a rug had just been left to perish. However I had to take a photo of it as I liked the effects of the textures of the woven patterned cloth intermingled with the stones of the path.

Men of Cloth

Gavin Fry

I've just come across lots of pictures from past exhibitions that I've visited. I meant to write about them earlier but have never got round to it.
'Men of Cloth' was at the Waterside Arts Centre in Sale, Greater Manchester from 3rd July to 4th Sep 2010. I can't seem to find out whether it is touring.

It was really refreshing to see a collection of beautiful art work in the textile medium produced by males when it has so often been an art associated with women. I though it was a really nice idea to collate this work into one exhibition, as it is a way of changing and challenging that perception of the textile arts.

This was especially after I had seen so much enthusiasm, passion and skill of the block-printing artisans whilst working with them in India, which is traditionally a male activity.

I have added some pictures of the work I particularly liked.

Michael Brennand-Wood I have always admired the forms his sculptural textiles take.

Matthew Harris explores the 'Symbiotic relationship between textiles and music'

James Hunting reminds me a little of Alice kettle. I love the soft painterly textures with striking details of delicate embroidery stitches in bold colours.

Kazuhito Takadoi This picture doesn't give justice to Takadoi's work, the delicate simplicity and sensitive homage to nature. I just found them so pleasing to look at.

Colin Jenkins - I was attracted to the way he brings what, to me seem like quite boring furnishing fabric swatches to life with quirky embroidered illustrations