I spent a leisurely New Year’s Eve perusing Art_Textiles exhibition in The Whitworth Gallery. I love the Whitworth and when I saw this exhibition advertised it was a definite must see for me, I have been experimenting in Fine Art with sewing over photographs so was keen to see what was included in the exhibition. Textiles can be perceived as craft rather than art with the term “craft” being used to describe something more along the lines of a hobby, or traditionally textiles were considered to fall within the female domain. The exhibition mainly consists of female artists, with some of them addressing these preconceived ideas of embroidery being a female’s domestic craft.
Ironically one of my favourite pieces of work was by a male artist Do Ho Suh, he is better known for his life size installations of buildings made from fabric. On display were a couple of his thread drawings titled Myselves, which are about reincarnation, kharma and how people are all interconnected. His thread drawings are often technical drawing for his larger installations, you get a sense of movement within these images as well as the sense of figures being intertwined.
Some of the other artists which I was particularly drawn to were
- Helga Sophia Goetze, who was an artist, poet and performer, she used her art to champion the cause of women’s liberation in Berlin.
- Ghada Amer, who adopts embroidery as a medium to address issues around gender, sexuality and Islamic culture
- Lainma Orzekauskiene with this work I was more interested with the process of digital print on weave than the content of the work, as I have been working with transferring photographic images onto fabric before sewing over.
I feel I have to mention Grayson Perry, having previously seen his exhibition in the Walker art gallery and having been enthralled by it, I was a bit disappointed that there weren’t more of his tapestries included in this exhibition.
This was an enlightening exhibition which demonstrated a wide range of skills involved within textile art, well worth the visit, and also given me inspiration for my studio practice module.