Louise and I had a lovely Saturday trip to Exeter in February (how was it a month ago!). We planned a trip to see an exhibition by Will Cruickshank at Exeter Phoenix
We’d both seen Will’s work on Instagram and were intrigued to see his work in person. On entering the gallery, we were both drawn to Colour Field Triangle.
As weavers, we may both have taken a collective inhale while wondering how the yarn stays untangled. But at the same time, we were both comforted by the similarity to a warp cross on the loom or on a factory scale warping mill. However these colours and forms are created in a totally unique way. By first creating makeshift machines – reusing and re-purposing parts from cement mixers, bicycles and potters wheels. These then wind and overlay the yarn at a regular tension and sequence.
The result is a range of textile sculptures that draw on traditional weaving and spinning skills, but create a new take on how yarn can be created into art.
Colour Field Triangle No. 8. Yarn and wood 2022
Wound Frame No. 4. Yarn and wood 2022
Wound Frame No. 3. Yarn and wood 2022
The open frames allow viewing of the underside of the yarn twists and add another dimension to the care and precision with which each thread is placed. By using mechanical processes to wind the yarns, clean lines and sharp edges combine with the tactility of the yarn. The machines allow for a constant tension in the wind – which isn’t always possible by hand.
Spectrum Loop Twist No.1 Yarn, wood, nails, 2022
Spectrum Loop Twist No.2. Yarn, wood, nails, 2023
Standing in the gallery, the ‘loop twists’ pieces create a feeling of optical illusions, and before long a 3D sculpture is reaching out from the wall to you. The colours that Will has selected add to the feeling of depth and twist.
Triple Rhombus. Yarn, wood and nails. 2023
The Triple Rhombus invites you to peer through each of the negative spaces, your eyes convinced it can’t be a flat wall behind the work!
If you are unfamiliar with his work, you can find out more here