Friday, 20 September 2013
In the foyer was Lise Bjorne-Linnert’s wall of name tags each one representing a woman who has disappeared and is presumed murdered in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. I first saw these name tapes and took part in the Desconocida exhibition in Epsom and it is sad to see the number of names has increased since then. Several other artists used stitching in their work to represent these women’s issues including Shadi Ghadiran who showed an image of a woman sewing a spider’s web in front of a latticed window to question how women comply with their own imprisonment in the home. Reena Saini Kallat showed a series of images of women knitting letters in red yarn which spelled out the phrase ‘Our bodies are moulded rivers’ a quote from the German philosopher Novalis. It was interesting that none of these works actually exhibited the textiles only images of them. I felt Lise’s work was stronger because of the physical presence of the textiles.
Other powerful images included those of Asoo Khanmohammadi who displayed photographs of the kitchens of Iranian suicide victims most of whom are young married women aged 15 to 34 years. These images of ordered domesticity were titled Ilam (the place where the photos were taken) and Absence. She also exhibited a photograph entitled Bride which showed a woman dressed for a wedding but wrapped in bubblewrap to consider the commodification of women. Another interesting series of photographs were those in a triptych by Mandana Moghaddam showing a pregnant woman lying in a room with water pooling on the floor around her. The water gradually rose around her and eventually submerged her indicating the overwhelming experience of childbirth. This was a moving exhibition which deserved to be seen by more people.
Tuesday, 17 September 2013
Another of my favourites was Vento di mare woven by Patrizia Casini incorporating double cloth in which sequins were trapped to give the impression of seafoam. She also had a companion piece to this one entitled Lingue di fuoco in which her subtle use of colours and beads beautifully depicts the tongues of fire.
Sunday, 15 September 2013
Cloth and memory exhibition on Friday, having been away when the private view was held. I chose Friday because there was a seminar about the theme of memories and cloth and a tour round the exhibition with Lesley Millar, the curator. The seminar was held in the room that had housed my installation last year so it was full of cloth memories for me and I also found a small red thread that I’d left in a corner as part of a mini-installation. Some of my counting marks also remained on the walls and over tea one of the other delegates (having realised I was the culprit!) said she’d been puzzling over them wondering if they had been left by the original spinners and weavers. The seminar began with Lesley asking Celia Pym about her work which involves darning into sweaters she has hand knitted. Celia explained that his process of replacing and putting back together echoed the initial feelings she had experienced on her site visit to the Spinning Room at Salts Mill. The discussion then progressed to other projects Celia has worked on and her admission that she likes to wear other people’s clothing. This led to reminiscences from the other participants about occasions when they had worn other people’s clothes and the reasons for doing so. The discussion then extended to types of cloth and the feelings and memories they engendered for the participants.
Thursday, 12 September 2013
I’ll post pictures of some of my favourite contemporary fans another time - and of course my own silk paper one.