Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Anni Albers at the Tate Modern

Anni Albers exhibition
On until 27th of January is a exhibition on Bauhaus weaver Anni Albers at the Tate Modern. I wasn’t familiar with her work as textile artists are not as mainstream unlike painters and designers, so it was thrilling to discover a textile pioneer! Work from the 1920s till the 1960s was displayed in a major retrospective of her ideas, textiles and her writings on the history of weaving.

She was first introduced to the art of weaving at the radical art school, the Bauhaus in Germany as an alternative to painting as that wasn’t deemed suitable for ladies to study! 

Weaving is a craft skill that I am fascinated with and if I had the time would try a short course for my own interest. It was mesmerising looking at Anni Albers work up close to see the colours, textures and sheer complexity of her weaving skills. I absolutely loved this exhibition and was amazed and quite hearten by the fact it was given a platform by such a major gallery. There still is a major climb in the general public’s perception in textiles as “art”, as exampled by bored students visiting, overheard dismissing the work as rugs! The teacher with them was no help as he remarked “we don’t do weaving, do we?” 

Hopefully, if more artists textiles were given this type of serious academic attention then the views will gradually change. I would definitely recommend this exhibition to anyone visiting London.

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Method in making.

Over the past few months I’ve been making some textile pieces using the antique textiles collected from dealers in the past year. I consciously tried to avoid buying indigo and Japanese fabrics as I’ve a considerable stash already, and tried to find unusual patterns instead.

People like to know where ideas and inspiration comes from and must say that I don’t have a particular idea in mind when starting, sometimes a vague idea of a look I want to achieve. My love of boro of course, has not diminished, I love distressed, aged and delicate textiles and this influences my work. 

In the past with other artwork, I used sketchbooks and developed ideas with paper and fabric sampling. I find that doesn’t suit my current work as I use antique textiles and they are one of a kind pieces. The fabrics lead me with the design and as any textile lover will know, just playing with the fabrics will bring up multiple ideas. It doesn’t always work and have some abandoned and “I don’t like it” work to prove it!

Years studying art and design, and my degree in costume learning many disciplines of surface decoration, printing  and dyeing, all inform my decisions. Living in London gives me the privilege position in visiting exhibitions on art, fashion and culture, it all goes in and influences me, consciously and unconsciously. Most of all though, the most important aspect for me is the enjoyment and calm making textile art gives and if other people enjoy it too, then all the better. :)

Remains. Texitile workStarry Night. Textile workLuna.Textile workConstellations. Textile art