Our Textile Graduate Day on the 19th is our first opportunity to promote new graduate makers within our textiles community.
We are really delighted by the work that they plan to share with us. This is our third post sharing a little bit more from each graduate about their practice in their own words.
I came to study at Falmouth as a mature student, having done little creatively throughout my working life. I was introduced to weave in the first year, and my focus quickly developed as an interest initially in double cloth, and then into multilayer weaves.
Artists such as Peter Collingwood, Magdalena Abakanowitz and Kay Sekimachi have been an inspiration to me, and my work has evolved from the briefs that we have been set, from the world around me and how I can interpret that in a way that can be represented in woven cloth.
Initially outcomes in developing textiles for interior soft furnishings were a start but as the course has progressed my interest in making pieces that can be displayed as artwork has developed. I have experience in working with multiple layers of differing lengths and structures (up to 10) on a two beam dobby loom, and adapted the loom to support this,and intend to develop this further. Pieces of work that I will use to illustrate my talk are a 10 layer spiral weave that I constructed in my second year, and a single weave book of 12 pages that I wove this year that reflects the story of the corona virus. This book has developed into an idea of weaving people’s stories – my previous life as a psychotherapist will contribute to my current knowledge of weave for this.
The work I am creating for my final major project is a handwoven, large scale, textile sculpture.
This work represents the recent discovery that I had, during the 1990s, been living in what is now recognised as a very unsafe building. The Ledbury Estate in Southwark includes three high rise tower blocks constructed with the large panel system made of cast concrete built in the late 1960’s. I have a personal connection with the Ledbury Estate having lived there for a short time in the 1990’s, while working at the Young Vic theatre, and was shocked to discover how dangerous they are. The gas was only removed in 2017, though it should have been taken out in 1968 following the collapse of Ronan Point. These blocks are structurally unsound, with large cracks running through the buildings causing damp but also a massive fire hazard.
During construction only twenty percent of the required bolts were put into place between the panels due to financial pressures, serious disregard for the quality of the build. This is represented by the removal of 80% of warp threads between the three woollen panels. The woollen double cloth panels are a symbol of timelessness and comfort, when in fact they provide none of this traditional security. Double cloth is a weaving technique traditionally used for warm heavyweight woollen blankets.
One cannot have a conversation about tower block failure without looking at the tragedy that is Grenfell Tower. The outer layer of the sculpture is woven to create a beautiful unprotective layer of protection, melting away. I hope to have created a work that is beautiful to look at while also being a work that promotes reflection and discussion.