i recently attended a day seminar at Plymouth College of Art on the exhibition 'Material Actions'. the exhibition was developed by the college and Textile Forum South West and at the time was on show at the college before it travels to CCANW (Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World). the artists selected for the exhibition represented 'different approaches to questioning how textiles are used to affect and contribute to ethical, social, cultural and environmental change'.
the day consisted of talks by 4 of the exhibitors, Emma Neuberg, Charlotte Squire, Jonnet Middleton and Lucy Brown.
it was a fascinating day and addressed some of the issues of recycling or rather 'upcycling' that is dear to my heart, although i won't go as far as Jonnet's manifesto never to buy any new clothes ever again!!
Emma Neuberg talked mainly about the use of plastic in her work and her blogs are well worth a visit. Charlotte Squire discussed her work 'so far' as she feels it is continually evolving, from her initial work in fashion to her 'lampshade forms' saying that 'I think in a climate of uncertainty that flexibility is a necessary strategy for survival'. lucy Brown showed her work and method of construction, by deconstructing items of underwear and re-weaving them into 'abstract' shapes, exploring their unknown histories. Jonnet Middleton was a breath of fresh air with her Unity Panda experiment in 'social media aesthetics' by creating a community to knit 100 panda's to send to china.
my main disappointment was that both Emma and Lucy's works were at least 10 years old and i am sure there are many textile artists out there with more recent work addressing these questions.
Do go and see the exhibition if you can. 27th November 2010 - 27th February 2011