Looking for a change of direction I have been visiting some exhibitions lately in the hope of finding inspiration.
A recent visit to the NCCD at Sleaford with Lorna where we met up with Mary Sleigh to see two exhibitions, the first of some wonderful weavings. Sadly no photography was allowed so no pictures here to show you. The second exhibition – ‘Soft Engineering: Textiles Taking Shape’ showed some wonderful skill and artistry, Alison Ellen’s creative knitting, Ann Richard’s wonderful woven Jewellery, although maybe better described as body sculpture. Ann uses a variety of mediums in her pieces metal, silk,linen and polyester to name but a few. She uses the different way each material reacts to wet finishing to create the twisted, pleated finish. Deidre Woods weavings, using a narrow loom to weave braid-like pieces which she then combines with folding to make complex forms.
My second outing was to attend Jane Callender’s book launch at the Warner Textile Archive in Braintree. Jane is an acknowledged expert on Indigo and Shibori dyeing. I have been making some very inexpert attempts at Shibori recently, particularly attending a class with Jude Kingshott using stitched Shibori on previously Procion dyed fabric which is then overdyed with Indigo, and find myself fascinated by the technique. So maybe this is the way to go.
The final image here is pole wrapped Shibori on fabric pre-dyed with Pottasium Permanganate and then Indigo.
Today was another day when I had an appointment in London and just a short time to pop into an exhibition I had only recently heard about. Embroidered Tales and Woven Dreams
is a free exhibition at the Brunei Gallery
at the School of Oriental and Asian Studies (SOAS), part of the London University and just off Russell Square, London WC1.
It is a collection of some beautiful embroideries and weavings that are representative of lands along the ancient Silk Road. The guest curator, Marian Bukhari apparently owns many of the pieces but there are also works from other collections. I do not know if they have ever been displayed before but most can be looked at closely allowing the variety of stitching and weaving techniques to be examined.
Some like this piece above, were displayed in such a way it was possible to see both sides of a piece of embroidery.
This particular pair of costumes were traditional Afghanistani pieces.
As well as textiles there are also some pieces of jewellery, books and art works. In addition there are a series of public lecturers (again all free) and the exhibition continues until 25 March 2017. The exhibition covers two floors.
The gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday 10.30am to 5pm (late nights on Thursdays until 8pm) but closed Sundays, Mondays and Bank Holidays. It can be found in Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London, WC1H 0XG.
I only spent a short time visiting today but I will definitely go back with my notebook and camera, and spend much longer.