Sub-titled ‘a Celebration of Textiles’, the exhibition is curated by Veronica Gould and Yuli Somme (both textile workers in their own right), and earlier this month I welcomed them into my studio for a ‘guided tour’ and plenty of chat fuelled by tea.
I felt buoyed by Veronica and Yuli’s visit and it was only after they left that I realised how few people actually set foot into my studio (apart from me), and how valuable it is to have a professional eye cast a glance over your work, an interested ear listen, and an articulate mouth question you. It forces you to be articulate in turn, and to be authentic and succinct. It’s in my personal nature, and that of my line of work, to work out my ideas and goals quietly, by myself, and not spend too much time talking about it. But sometimes that means going around in circles, or going nowhere at all. So to have some fresh perspective was a welcome injection and a great start to the year.
The exhibition celebrates the material world of textiles and its makers, those who print, weave, recycle, knit, to make a myriad functional and decorative items. The curators are dedicating the space to small enterprises; solo makers and groups working together. “Common to each is a fundamental understanding of their materials, each artist’s work feeds into an ongoing conversation concerning the environment and managing the means of production.”
There will be a programme packed full of talks, workshops, visits and events. The foyer shop will become a sumptuous feast of textiles, a host of makers providing a glory of goodies from beautiful hand-made bags to exquisite printed scarves.
Work on show by AbeySmallcombe, Angharad Barlow, Susie Gillespie, Gladys Paulus, Sam Pickard, Solidwool, Sally Vergette, Jenny Wilkinson
By the ay, if the above image doesn’t look like a textile, you’d be right – sort of. But that black stuff is made from British Herdwick wool by a company called SolidWool, based in Buckfastleigh (Devon). They create an environmentally friendly composite material that can replace Injection Moulded Plastics and fibreglass. Wool is used here as the reinforcement, bio-resins as the binder. I think it’s fantastic that this company is included in the exhibition, as they demonstrate a commitment to working with a traditional material in innovative ways.
Saturday, April 23, 2016 – Saturday, June 4, 2016
Green Hill Arts