COMMON THREAD (2020)
NEW ART CENTRE
MAR 24 2020 - MAY 31 2020
The creative director of the Centre and curator of the exhibition Lewis Gilbert chose the medium of textiles as the central focus of the exhibition, explaining that textiles “run through everything we humans do. It is there in our language – we knit arguments together, we weave stories, we identify common threads.” Amongst the designers on show, is a piece by material designer Sophie Rowley. The Berlin based designer was to show a playful geometric textile wall piece from her Khadi Fray series. ‘Khadi Frays’ is a series of textile wall pieces Sophie Rowley developed during a recent one-year stay in India. They are inspired by the Khadi Spirit, an Indian term which describes the state of illimitable patience. In ‘Khadi Frays’, the repetitive actions of conventional handweaving techniques were reversed. Instead of building up the material thread by thread, a solid block of multiple weaves forms the starting point. Each layer undergoes a carefully calculated destructive process, during which over 10 000 threads are patiently removed, leaving frayed finishes behind.
"They are inspired by the Khadi Spirit, an Indian term which describes the state of illimitable patience. In ‘Khadi Frays’, the repetitive actions of conventional handweaving techniques were reversed"
Through eating into these material blocks, multi-dimensional textures are created, gradually dwindling down to the base layer. The differences in weight and tension of the warp and weft lead to subtle variations in shade and dependent upon the perspective angle, reflections on the surfaces occur. Through this technique simplistic and modest materials were transformed into intricate arrangements and elegant wall pieces, endeavoring to give a modern twist to textile craft. The experiments with stencils led to three different design outcomes made from natural canvas cloths, rough linen fabrics and cottons hand-dyed in Indian turmeric.
Other artists and designers on show were Mark Corfield-Moore, who created a beautiful blue and white tasseled woven work as a response to the Georgian windows in the Roche Court which hung in the orangery, evoking the sunlight to dance through the windows. Moreover, a diaphanous indigo-dyed and embroidered linen piece from Ayan Farah, alongside works for Forest + Found who created a presentation of carved wooden jars made from spelted beech (sourced from the land around the exhibition space), were to be shown.