Visible Thread opened at Ace Arts in Somerton, Somerset at the end of last month and it was high on our list of exhibitions we want to see as we follow the work of SEAM Collective quite closely. We try to take part in #Septtextilelove every year on Instagram. We also recently interviewed Lou Baker as part of the Social Scaffolding exhibition in Bath. We also are very much looking forward to our online talk with Lydia Needle on the 14th January next year.
We both loved Lou Baker’s soft sculptures, but also felt a little uncomfortable around them. ‘Red is the Colour of. . . .’ was less visceral than viewed in a dimply lit space, draped over surfaces and we loved the knitted shapes. ‘(m)other’, the series of soft sculptures made from old bedding, towels and clothing were gorgeously sumptious, but at the same time disturbingly human for us. The artist encourages participation in her work, so we could have draped them around us, but perhaps we’ve seen too many sci-fi films to feel confortable doing so!
Red is the colour of.....?
With our talk by Lydia Needle coming up in the New Year, we were keen to see the lastest work by her. She has created the amount of textile waste each person generates in the UK in beautiful white cubes. We were encouraged to lift them to really bring home the quantity re-used, recycled and sent to landfill. The texture, heft and shape of each cube were lovely to hold while revealing the statistics underneath.
This jacket shows off the beauty of hand spun flax, and set us off again in conversation about who spun the flax and if we could get some flax growing near The Loom Shed. It is made from organic denim and handspun flax and it raised questions about our clothing – who makes it? from what? It is a beautifully tailored and designed jacket
Manifest (Show of Hands)
This piece hit us both hard. The simplicity of the subtitle – ‘who’s had do you long to hold once more’ made us both think of the loved and lost, but also of the time that we spent during covid not touching – recoiling and apologising for the slightest touch, and the impact that had on relationships.
Textiles have a tremendous power. We live surrounded by them from our first moment to our last. This group of artists skilfully manipiulated, thread, fibre and fabric to provoke both and emotional and thoughtful response.
The exhibition continues until Christmas Eve. The craft shop in the same building is also well worth a visit – we both found some unique gifts to kick start our festive shopping!