Monday, 30 March 2015

Textile conferences

I’ve been to a couple of conferences in the last two weeks (The erotic cloth and the Textile Society research symposium) both fascinating in different ways. The speakers at The erotic cloth were mainly established researchers in the field, while those at the Textile Society tended to be PhD students talking about their research, so the day did not have a theme but gave an interesting overview of current textile research. There were many interesting papers at both events, but those most relevant to my work included Angela Maddock’s talk about folds and cloth related to Giovanni Battista Moroni’s painting of Il tagliapanni (the cutter of cloth). I also enjoyed Claire Jones’ depiction of cloth and puberty in Victorian marble sculptures which linked to my research into the animate and inanimate. Samantha Broadhead’s paper on the fetishizing of cloth in Hitchcock’s film Rebecca also included some very atmospheric net curtains, while Grace Williams’ research into the use of fabric in stage magic and disappearing women, contained some wonderful images of carpets concealing bodies, both in her own practice and that of Anette Reimer. At the Textile Society day, I was interested in Alexandra Lester-Makin’s research on early medieval embroidery, because I am interested in this period of history but also because she discussed the idea of objects having a life, a theme she explored from an archaeological point of view, but one that interests me from a practice and fictional stance. Both conferences were stimulating and varied and were great opportunities to discuss ideas with fellow textile researchers.

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