At Mr X Stitch we love to review textile art and embroidery books for you. There are so many great books to discover, packed with needlework inspiration and textile techniques, so we dive into each book to find out what’s good, what’s bad and let you know why you should pick it up.
Dimensional Cloth: Sculpture by Contemporary Textile Artists is a fantastic collection of contemporary artists who use fabric as a medium to create 3D pieces. Curated by Andra F. Stanton, there are over 350 photographs of sculptural textile art that will really inspire you.
We often think of sculpture as limited to hard materials such as clay and metal. However in our modern age, textile art is often presented as sculpture; which can be exciting to behold.
Who Is This Book Aimed At?
Those who want inspiration for themselves or to pass on to others, as well as anyone who appreciates art in general. In its hardback state, it boasts the coffee table appeal; one to keep out and keep referring back to.
Overall the book has a serious edge; weighted on the intellectual side.
About The Author
Stanton is now an artist and writer, retiring from her former field of interest. We note that she has another publication due out in 2021, which is her forth published book. She centres her interest around textile art and its connection with healing.
The book is divided into five main chapters, to section off the types and themes running through this book. We discover storytelling, nature, space…the list goes on. It could get very complicated and confusing, thank goodness for the separate chapter areas to separate and organise the different themes.
Many may wonder about this type of art, as it is more specialised and not as well understood. We particularly enjoyed reading the answer in the introduction alluding to this. The writer has an in-depth understanding of the subject matter. This is not a lightweight publication, it is full of educational detail with historical factors too.
The chapters are all titled with a theme. For example the first one surrounds nature; thus all the artists within this section relate to this theme.
The book is illustrated so well, artists are contemporary and exciting. Stanton has uncovered many artists, not all well known, yet they are producing magnificent work. We appreciate this feat in itself, it cannot have been easy to get that many artists involved in one publication.
Really this whole book is artist based, one after another after another. This is a major indulgent treat for those of us who just love to uncover new work. We liked how the whole book is organised – each artist has a space, an explanation – lengthy and not rushed. The illustrations are obviously signposted – no groping for what we are observing visually.
As you can see in the image above, greyed out boxes separate the title of the illustration from the rest of the text.
Overall what we notice from this book is that its not one to just flick through. It needs to be viewed as a novel, we wouldn’t skip and miss pages of a fiction book or we would lose the (forgive the pun) thread of the story. This method of reading should be activated when reading this book – slowly work through it – use a bookmark to remember where you finished to start again!
Each image has its own strength. Both well captured and of a curious interest, there are no weak points. Here are a few of our favourites:
We like the mix of sizes too – the illustrations are placed with variety and and not presented in a boring manner.
The artists involved have produced such an eclectic mix of work, its like going down a rabbit hole and not knowing what we will uncover on each flick of a page. This has all been captured well – no weak pixel or blurry images.
What Makes The Book Special?
The theme of the book is exciting in itself. It opens our eyes to textiles in a new way. We discover everything from birds to skeletons, this encyclopedia of a publication has it covered.
Anything Wrong With The Book?
If you are more traditional in your taste, this may seem too overbearing.
Dimensional Cloth: Sculpture by Contemporary Textile Artists by Andra F. Stanton is truly a book for the present, one to be inspired by or simply to feast your eyes on. The textile art collector, textile art enthusiast and textile artist will all find this uplifting and engaging.