At the beginning of lockdown I decided to try and do something positive amid the Covid crisis. I started a series on Facebook and Instagram to help bring together textile artists and provide inspiration to creatives stuck at home.
On April 20th I posted day one of ‘100 days series of amazing textile art.’ To be honest I didn’t know how hard it would be to post everyday and only now do I realise that I haven’t done anything for 100 days without a break. However, contacting textile artists around the world about their latest work, interviewing artists I haven’t featured before for my regular Inspirational Monday slot on the website while home schooling my two boys has been a rewarding challenge.
The variety of textile art never ceases to amaze me, from the level of skill required and the way artists manipulate fibres to the sheer range of subject matter. I’m now almost three quarters of the way through and here are some of the highlights so far.
The art of tapestry weaving has been around for centuries, and despite living in a digitised world the technique has barely changed. Large tapestries take months and sometimes years to complete and I just find it incredibly brave for artists to commit to so much time and energy to one piece. ’Under the Surface,’ by Norwegian artist Anne Stabell is one of her latest weavings and is made from three different kinds of wool.
During my rabbit hole searching on Instagram I came across a brilliant online exhibition by Silvermine Galleries. Fibre 2020 led me to American artist Michael Rohde’s striking pixilated tapestry ‘Enough,’
Technology doesn’t often feature in textile art but two artists have been using lighting really effectively. Swedish artist Malin Bobeck put on her own immersive installation show featuring ‘Water’. Optical fibre fabric, LEDs and a microcomputer change the colour of the piece as the audience interact with it.
Across the globe Bolivian artist Sandra De Berduccy created E-Sawri. Woven with optical fibres, electronics and sensors this signifies the colours you see if you close your eyes and would have been wonderful to see in its magical outdoor setting.
Back in the UK I came across Jane Sanders of Stitchin in the Kitchen who combines colour, incredible technique and a sense of fun. Jane uses machine embroidery to recreate her pop and rock icons in vibrant colours that demand attention. This is her portrait of Jimi Hendrix.
Further afield Australian textile artist Rach Gooden of Stitch and Bone creates exquisite bejewelled insects using hand embroidery. Her presentation is so beautiful it makes you see the beauty in even the most ferocious little critters.
Along my 100 day journey I came across British textile artist Rosie James’ Covid project. Rosie asked people to send in portraits of themselves in isolation that she translated into stitch. The 100 portraits are incredible and filled the outside of the house as you can see.
This round up equates to one week of the 100 days of amazing textile art. Hopefully at the end of the 100 days the world will be a more optimist place than when I started.