Tuesday, 18 September 2012

The Beetroot Tree Textile Exhibitions

At the Beetroot Tree in late July we set up an exhibition called 'Labour of Love' which featured both works brought from India by Jo Hall of 'Bazaar',
But most especially we were treated to the textile portraits of Aran Illingworth.
Aran's work is almost journalism, her chosen subjects for this series are beggars, outcasts, people living on the edge of thier society. She captures the pathos of characters whose lives are a mystery to us, and without words she reminds us forcefully of the contrasts across the world.

She visited and chatted to a full house about her work:

The question session after Aran's talk brought up an interesting discussion. A questioner asked whether Aran felt the need to 'put something back', perhaps to give a percentage from her sales to the people or communities she has chosen to re-create in stitch? A provoking discussion continued after this, widening the question as to whether artists, journalists, businesses and others who 'use' the theme of poverty/illness/degradation as a subject matter have a greater moral imperative to give assistance to their subjects than anyone else? Or any more than any other person, or the viewer/reader/buyer of the work? Does the same principle extend to other aspects of our involvements? Maybe sports people should have to give towards sports charities or training becasue they have derived a benefit from the training? Do we have a perception that as artists it is more necessary to consider the question than people in other careers? Or, is the reminder of an issue created in the viewer the 'payback' an artist or writer etc. sufficient?
Your thoughts? ...

It only seemed 5 minutes, not 6 weeks, before we had to say goodbye to the 'Labour of Love' exhibition and were hanging the new one! (Mostly as I had been away for some of it)
The current exhibition is called 'Brocade and Beyond', and the link between the selected artists is the structures created by the construction of decorative threaded structures. I will just mention a couple of the artists here, but use the link above to see the full list, statements and images on the gallery website.
Jan Garside's weaving feature strongly:

 Jan hand dyes and hand weaves bespoke intricate art textiles which have been purchased by collectors and commissioned by domestic and corporate clients. She has exhibited widely both regionally and nationally and in Europe. All work is bespoke and hand woven on a traditional loom. Her work is based on considered themes and is researched through sketchbook work, photography, computer imaging and woven sampling. Jan uses combinations of silk, monofilament, metallic thread, and cotton and linen yarns when weaving the multiple layers that are her trademark. Her colour palette consists of soft shadowy neutral colours that create a quiet atmosphere. She is particularly interested in the nature of light, movement, texture and surface.

Also works by  a local artist Jennie Merriman. Jennie says: My work centres on the experimental development of weaving using a variety of structures, often with the use of acrylic sheet integral to the work. As the work progresses I create my own ways of working as there are now no traditional techniques to follow I find my own way and develop a new set of rules to inform the process. 

Compositions start from a simple geometric basis and work towards the characteristics of harmony and discipline. Starting with a two dimensional frame it builds upon itself to create 3 dimensional structures creating patterns of stability between the various entities.

More images and information will be on the website very soon.
I am looking forward to our gallery events Gone Gothic and  Fairy Cake with artists talks, dowsing, fairy lanterns and story telling over the next couple of weeks and our Christmas solo showing of works by Neil Bottle

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