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Exhibition | Unbound: Visionary Women Collecting Textiles

Unbound: Visionary Women Collecting Textiles tells the story of seven pioneering women who went against all established norms to create some of the richest, most diverse and global public collections in the UK today.

Textiles and costume give us a beautiful and intensely human insight into our history. Unbound: Visionary Women Collecting Textiles celebrates seven women who saw beyond the purely functional, to reveal the extraordinary artistic, social and cultural importance of textiles. From the exquisite anthropological collections of traditional Balkan costume by Edith Durham, to the ground-breaking contemporary South Asian collection of Nima Poovaya-Smith, these women defied the ‘traditional’ concept of collecting – an activity still more often associated with men – and forged the way for textiles as crucial documents of social history as well as works of art in their own right.

This major collaborative project explores the innovative approaches of Edith Durham (1863 – 1944), Louisa Pesel (1870 – 1947), Olive Matthews (1887 – 1979), Enid Marx (1902 – 1998), Muriel Rose (1897 – 1986), Jennifer Harris (working 1982 – 2016 at the Whitworth, University of Manchester) and Nima Poovaya-Smith (Senior Keeper International Arts 1985 – 1998, Cartwright Hall Art Gallery, Bradford), and presents the objects from a previously unexplored perspective, that of the female collector.

Unbound: Visionary Women Collecting Textiles includes sculptural 18th-century costume, intricately embroidered Balkan towels, headdresses and waistcoats, the 1920s and 1930s block printed fabrics of Barron and Larcher, as well as contemporary works: Alice Kettle’s huge machine embroidered panels Three Caryatids (1989 – 91), Yinka Shonibare’s 2007 copy of the last slave ship The Wanderer reimagined with ‘African’ batik fabric sails and Sarbjit Natt’s 1996 geometric patterned silk sari. These sit alongside archival photographs, sketchbooks and letters, many of which have never been shown in public. The exhibition looks at how these collections continue to influence us today and asks why textiles still have to fight for their place amongst the more established visual arts.

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Profile: Alicia Rowbotham

Alicia Rowbotham, a recent graduate of the BA (Hons) Textile Design course at Central Saint Martins is a designer amongst a growing group of emerging talent exploring the relevance of fast fashion against the environmental destruction it ensues.

Working within the fashion industry as a stylist for a leading online fashion retailer throughout her degree gave her great insight into the destructive cycle of fast fashion and disposable products. This provoked her to create the collection ‘Waste not, want not’.  The collection aims to emphasise and encourage collaboration between manufacturers and designers to harness the potential of textile mill waste and utilise this resource for the benefit of both the industry and the designer.

The collection consists of handwoven body adornments and fashion accessories made entirely from textile industry waste including reams of beautiful waste silk, miscellaneous fibres and ‘deadstock’ materials from textile mills in the UK.

The collection was shortlisted for the LVMH x MAISON/0 Green Trail awards 2019 as well as The Mills Fabrica sustainability prize 2019. The collection was then shown as part of the London Design festival exhibition ‘Designing in Turbulent Times’ amongst other provoking Central Saint Martin’s graduate projects. Rowbotham finished 2019 being featured as ‘one to watch’ in the winter issue of textile publication, Cover magazine.

Starting the new year, pieces from the ‘Waste not, Want not’ collection were showcased as part of the innovation hub in the Sustainable Angles 9th Future Fabrics Expo; the world’s largest showcase of sustainable materials for the future fashion industry.

Rowbotham continues to pursue her fascination for a more circular fashion and textile industry through the aid of craft and design working in collaboration with Evan James Design to create interior accessories for the Surface Design Show 2020. Continue reading →

Exhibition: Ruth Holt

Ruth Holt is based in  a studio in Halesworth, Suffolk.  Since 2012 she has exhibited regularly with Suffolk Craft Society and other galleries including the Scottish Gallery and Shipyard Gallery in Wivenhoe.

Ruth designed and then commissioned Whitchurch Silk Mill, a traditional Victorian Mill,  to weave cloth for a limited edition of scarves for the Society of Apothecaries (a City Livery Company). Continue reading →

Exhibition: Over Under : Under Over

Over Under : Under Over
Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, Upper Galleries
Dates: 22nd December – January 30th 2020

Exploring Weave in its widest context. Presented by the Cordis Trust.

The Cordis Trust are presenting a special exhibition in conjunction with Visual Arts Scotland at the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh. Over Under : Under Over explores weave in its widest context through the work of six contemporary artists.

The work of Elizabeth Ashdown, Celia Pym, Dail Behennah, Sue Lawty, Sarah Jane Henderson and Sadhvi Jawa have been brought together in order to explore the wider applications of the woven form.

Cordis states:
‘Straying from their usual adherence to the traditional principles of woven Gobelin tapestry, this project aims to explore the wider applications of the woven form. Cordis have selected six artists whose work is constructed in a similar way to tapestry, or whose techniques resonate with the principles of weaving, whether that be through the interlacing of materials or of repetitive gesture’.

Text & Images: Elizabeth Ashdown/Cordis

Woven Jacquard Engineered Garment Research: Graysha Audren | Maike Jansen

Graduate Research Weaver Profiles: Graysha Audren | Maike Jansen

Seamless by Graysha Audren
Textile designer, Graysha Audren is a recent weave graduate of Central Saint Martins with a focus on sustainable innovation.  She believes good designers are problem solvers at heart with the power to invoke change, disrupt systems, and design out inefficiencies. The textile industry interweaves global politics, economics, trade, society, and business. The industry is a web of complicated supply chains where sustainability needs design-led systemic transparency. To change the entire system and to affect real change, Graysha focuses holistically on questioning inefficient and unsustainable systems, starting at the beginning: the making of the cloth.

Her current project, Seamless, exhibited at the London Design Festival in partnership with Maison/0 and LVMH, proposes a revolutionary way of seamlessly weaving clothing for material waste reduction and supply chain efficiency. Continue reading →

Exhibition: African Textiles from the Karun Thakar Collection

SOAS is hosting an exquisite exhibition at their Brunei Gallery of African Textiles from the Karun Thakar Collection,  arguably one of the world’s largest private collections of African textiles. Featuring high quality material, that highlights the sophistication of historical African textiles art and design, which have been little understood and appreciated, the exhibition will examine the links between west and north African textile traditions through a selection of important and rare examples of textile art, being shown here for the first time.

The exhibition  includes a selection of over 150 exhibits and textiles from west and north Africa including Morocco, Tunisia, Ivory Coast, Mali, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Ghana and Cameroon.

Further details on the Karun Collection can be found by visiting http://www.karuncollection.com/ follow on Instagram @karuncollection and more of the African Textiles Collection can be seen in the book ‘African Textiles’ published by Prestel, 2015.

Closing Date: Dec 14th 2019 5.00pm

Exhibition supported byHALI Magazine

Text: taken from SOAS.Photograph:Philippa Brock

TexSelect 2019: Weavers

TexSelect are showing at Première Vision Designs, Paris 17th – 19th Sept 2019.

TexSelect’s aim is to select, mentor and promote the UK’s most talented newly graduated textile designers, providing an opportunity for realistic development, and a vital bridge between higher education and the real, commercial world.

Those selected for this unique mentorship programme are introduced to buyers, press and sponsors at the TexSelect London Preview and at Europe’s leading fabric fair, Première Vision Paris, gaining exceptional first hand experience of the industry. There are also opportunities to intern with some of Italy’s finest mills and manufacturers, to be trained on specialist CAD software, and to have work selected for a curated interiors collection. TexSelect’s Hero Mentor scheme carries the support forward, linking designers with industry professionals who provide ongoing career mentorship.

Many TexSelect alumni now enjoy high-profile creative roles within the international textile, fashion and interior design industries.

Alongside the show there will be presentation of the TexSelect Prizes for Colour, Fashion, Pattern and Interiors. Also presentation of The Woolmark Company TexSelect Award, and the Marks & Spencer TexSelect Fashion Fabric Award.

The presentation takes place on 18th Sept at 15.30 (3.30pm), followed by a reception for sponsors, press, buyers and guests.

Venue: Première Vision Designs, Hall 5, Première Vision Paris, Parc d’Expositions de Paris-Nord, Villepinte.

TexSelect is delighted to confirm that going forward Première Vision Group, organiser of the world’s leading sourcing events for fashion professionals, will continue its support for emerging textile designers through an agreement with TexSelect that will build on the talent search programme’s legacy with an international perspective from 2020. Click on this link for more information

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Exhibition: Interlace | Hella Jongerius

Interlace, Textile Research

June, 7 – September, 8 2019
Throughout summer 2019, Lafayette Anticipations invites the Dutch designer Hella Jongerius. She uses the building’s performative qualities to transform the interior space into a vast, constantly shifting loom; a giant textile studio, open to the public.

Hella Jongerius is one of international design’s most influential figures. Working from her Jongeriuslab in Berlin, her theoretical and experimental research explores multiple themes, often addressing the significance of colours and materials.

The project she has imagined for Lafayette Anticipations is centred around textile and weaving.

In the world of fast fashion, textiles have become a throwaway product. This exhibition questions how we consider textiles within our lives, and the cultural, social and economic implications of textile production and consumption today.

Over recent decades, we have become less aware of how our textiles are made, while artisanal production techniques are being lost. Industrialisation, mechanisation and globalisation have taken textile production away from individual understandings.

Interlace exposes the viewing public to the textile production process in order to create awareness, re-valuation and appreciation for textiles. It shows what consumers don’t usually see: the research and experimentation, the tools and materials, the trial and error that are as important as the result itself.

Throughout the three months of the exhibition, the public will be able to see new textile pieces being woven in the gallery space.

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Exhibition: Out of Synch | Theo Wright

Out of Synch is a new project by Coventry-based weaver Theo Wright that explores the synchronisation and sequencing of design elements through a series of textiles: single cloths woven in linen and double cloths woven in silk.

Simple colour and pattern sequences are disrupted so that they become more complex and move in and out of alignment. The same approach has been applied to a range of weaving styles to produce a variety of effects. All the textiles have been handwoven on a 16-shaft dobby loom.

Textiles from the Out of Synch project are currently on show at Direct Art Action, Sutton Coldfield until 27th July 2019and will then be exhibited at The Handweavers Studio & Gallery, London 19 August – 28 September 2019.

For more information about the project see http://www.theowright.co.uk/outofsynch.html

Jacquard x Google Arts & Culture – Artist Residency

Google Arts & Culture and Jacquard (Google ATAP) are launching the first artist-in-residency with the goal of exploring synergies between technology, art, and fashion.

The programme
Google Arts & Culture and Jacquard (Google ATAP) are launching the first artist-in-residency with the goal of exploring synergies between technology, art, and fashion at Google Arts & Culture Lab in Paris. Curated by Pamela Golbin, the program will enable three artists to conceive of and create works that explore textiles, connectivity, and creativity over the course of a five month residency. 

This residency will grant the three artists access to the core of Jacquard technology, factories in Japan, mentoring from Jacquard and Google Arts & Culture engineers, mentoring from Pamela Golbin and Memo Akten, and access to the Google Lab space and resources in Paris. 

The end of the residency will be celebrated by showcasing the art installations at a private event in October 2019 and potential partner museums. Additionally, final work and the Making Of process will be featured in a dedicated section on Google Arts & Culture platform. 
 Artists will own the IP of their artwork.

The Residency includes:
– Weekly advisory meetings with Google Arts & Culture Lab and Jacquard engineers – Access to Jacquard Research and Development teams – Artist mentors : Pamela Golbin and Memo Akten – Dedicated Creative Coder and hardware prototyping team- Jacquard Factory visit and inspiration trip in Japan- Three weeks at the Google Arts and Culture lab in Paris- Stipend of 10k€ gross for each artist – Production budget and Jacquard material production: 15k€ for each artist

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