OCA Textiles 3 Sustaining My Practice Part 4- Place

Assignment 4- Exercise 1 Presentation Methods

Gillian Morris Student No. 511388

Morris (2021) I’m Not So Bad Now! Mental Health Repair- A Visual Account of Emotional Recovery. Screen-Printed Vintage Linen Bedsheet 203 x 285cm.

Continuing Research Processes- How Best to Connect, Communicate and Engage with the Audience

(Also see https://weaveprint.com/  https://weaveprint.com/2021/08/30/oca-textiles-3-sustaining-my-practice-part-3-informed-creative-development-3/ )

Through research the Wasps artist studio complexes within the Glasgow area have proven to be the most conducive and appropriate place to exhibit my large-scale screen-printed vintage linen with and without hand stitching. Given the scale of connections made through Wasps such venues have proven to offer the best exhibition spaces which are well known as creative hubs as hundreds of artists have studios within these same venues and exhibit there regularly. There is a rolling programme of exhibitions, shows and events within each Wasps complex which is situated in the middle of the city with significant footfall as the exhibitions usually prove to be very popular and well attended. Wasps have significant connections across multiple creative-artistic communities and other related agencies, an extensive online presence including website, longer term experience of organising exhibitions and a range of specialist expertise, skills, and knowledge in promoting such exhibitions so I feel such exhibition venues would be readily supported by the artists within Wasps as well as the public.

In considering I have been undertaking screen printing within the Wasps Artist Studio Complex at Hanson Street, Glasgow for years now I increasingly know and understand Wasps as well as the artist communities who inhabit such venues to undertake their own creative practices there. The Wasps venues with exhibition spaces often act as a central atrium for artists to show their artwork so they are exciting, vibrant, and highly creative arenas to be part of where there is a willingness to share and support. That said, beyond my own immediate network of supporters there is also an additional network of supporters who are readily available in situ through the hundreds of artists there on site. I have often used the exhibition space to capitalise upon the natural light which cascades in through the expansive windows, to lay out on the floor and hang up my screen-printed textiles during the creative processes to gain different perspectives on how I see my work. In doing so I have often received favourable feedback from other artists there which has continued to encourage me to maintain such connections with Wasps and their artist studio complexes in Glasgow.

Exhibition Presentation of Large-Scale Textiles to Promote and Optimise Enhanced Audience Participation and Engagement

I will show eight vintage linen bedsheets as they act as the material basis of the creative work. Each bedsheet has been dyed varying shades of grey to match grey matter which is abundant in the cerebellum, cerebrum and brain stem and represents the core sites of cognitive functioning, information processing through neural connectivity. The original artwork for this proposed project work stems from research on neuro-networking from neuroimaging techniques to illustrate human identity and sense of self at its most intrinsic level. Ten vintage linen bedsheets have been screen-printed whole, and two bedsheets have been used for the sampling processes through a process of building up layers of print to explore meaning and to demonstrate emotion, one series of three bedsheets represent crisis with print while the other series of five bedsheets represent repair and recovery through print and stitch. The eight linen bedsheets will be wall mounted and framed as a space to walk through, for the audience to fully inhabit to interact with, within the exhibition space, to capitalise upon the unique features of the space like the abundance of natural light from the wall of windows, to help show off the textiles to their absolute best.

Davion Alston (12th April 2021) Alumni in Atlanta Biennial Reflect on New Work, Grief, and Inclusion in Momentous Exhibition (PTI) The work within the Atlanta Biennial is an amalgamation of images taken from within the recent year as the artist desired gatherings with friends during a time of so much isolation, tension, and loss…and wanted to mirror that feeling of longing through a more tactile approach—hence the use of collage to fragment certain moments and displace the subject in new compositions—relating that displacement through a traverse use of materials such as mud cloth and bleached newsprint. Ephemerality and light play a role in this work because their discipline is the mastering of light on surface materials. During certain parts of the day the glass prisms hanging in mid-air bounce light around the gallery floor and walls, expanding outward for only a moment in time, illuminating light onto the artists contemporaries exhibiting near me. This allowed to challenge the viewers presence during temporary moments of intimacy within the work. https://artdesign.gsu.edu/2021/04/12/this-moment-and-its-movements/

That said the exhibition will be big considering the size and number of vintage linen bedsheets to be exhibited, my own promotional strategy and Wasps promotional strategies for the exhibition. It is anticipated that the exhibition will now run at the beginning of October 2021 as confirmed by Wasps. The process of documenting the exhibition has continued throughout the related creative processes and compilation of research files. The install processes and exhibition itself will be recorded through use of video and photography including relevant write ups and blog entries. As documented within my final project and exhibition plan, I will fully curate the exhibition myself however I will utilise informal supports to help me to install, de-install and manage the exhibition and the visiting public. The exhibition space has been provided by Wasps free of charge so no costs will be incurred. I was informed of this once the exhibition proposal was accepted by Wasps.

How to frame textile art has continually been researched as the benefits from appropriately presenting my textiles cannot be underestimated. As stated by Anne Kelly, co-author of ‘Connected Cloth’ with Cas Holmes it is always important to stress (when framing textile art) that your work should be hung appropriately for maximum impact. The presentation of my finished work is critical to the public perception of me as a textile artist. If my work is professionally presented, there will be greater interest and follow up including potential purchasers who are more likely and able to envisage it in their own surroundings as well as to appreciate the work itself, so this has been an ongoing focus. https://www.textileartist.org/displaying-and-hanging-textile-art/ The priorities include clear, professional presentation of my artwork, strong editing, and sequencing of related information for the exhibition, the creation of a focused body of work with the potential for creative exploration of an original, creative voice. The information to be supplied will clearly state what the work is about, how it is informed and influenced, how it is made, including process and materials and what my own professional aspirations are as a textile artist currently and going forward.

The Event of a Thread Global Narrative in Textiles (11th March 2019). Works of 25 international artists including installations were brought together in the exhibition where textile materials were used as means of expression to create aesthetic and cultural narratives. https://www.textilegence.com/en/event-thread-global-narratives/
Whitworth Gallery Textiles Exhibitions Review May 4, 2016. The Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester hosted over three textiles and surface pattern exhibitions concurrently. The fabrics were heavily pattern-based, encompassing a vast range of design styles, from detailed florals to bold geometrics, explored at varying scales across the fabrics from different collections, which highlighted what is possible through textile exhibitions. https://www.whitworth.manchester.ac.uk/
May 2-5, 2019: Installation view of Various Small Fires booth at Frieze New York, featuring three works by Diedrick Brackens. Diedrick Brackens (b. 1989, Mexia, TX) creates woven tapestries that explore allegory and narrative through the artist’s autobiography, broader themes of African American and queer identity, as well as American history. Brackens employs techniques from West African weaving, quilting from the American South, and European tapestry-making to create both abstract and figurative works. Often depicting moments of male tenderness, Brackens culls from African and African American literature, poetry, and folklore as source. Beginning his process through the hand-dying of cotton, a material he deliberately uses in acknowledgement of its brutal history, Brackens’ oeuvre presents rich, nuanced visions of African American life and identity, while also alluding to the complicated histories of labour and migration. https://www.culturetype.com/2019/
Eszter Bornemisza (2013) Detail from Lung of the City showing a fragment of the Budapest map in growing scales. This wall hanging illustrates options for textiles especially when larger and heavier in construction. Installation at Festival of Quilts July 2013, NEC, Birmingham. https://www.thefestivalofquilts.co.uk/
Eszter Bornemisza (2013) Lung of the City. This installation consists of three floor-to-ceiling open panels behind one another, showing a fragment of the Budapest map in growing scales. Installation at Festival of Quilts July 2013, NEC, Birmingham. https://www.thefestivalofquilts.co.uk/beyond-foq-dynamic-galleries/eszter-bornemisza/

I will be free hanging my textile art from the ceiling to create a central installation as well as from the walls to create wall hangings. I have researched further what is required and how best to do this with large scale heavy vintage linen bedsheets. My work is free hanging, so they will be securely fastened to a wall or overhead ceiling support. Anne Kelly stated that this can be done effectively using fishing line, which is available in a variety of strengths which I have now acquired. When hanging my textile art, the fishing line will be attached through wooden dowelling supports which are suspended through my work to ensure that they hang straight. A placket or narrow pocket running through the back of each piece can include a single piece of wooden dowelling rod for each vintage linen bedsheet, which can then be strung up using the fishing line. More recently I have acquired cotton herringbone tape which has been dyed grey and I have created the channel at the top of each panel for the wooden dowelling rod to run through in preparation for exhibiting my work.  https://www.textileartist.org At this time, I do not need to access additional funding as presenting the screen-printed vintage linen has incurred few costs excluding the fishing line, cotton twill herringbone tape, and wooden dowelling rods for hanging the textiles.

Cas Holmes (2009) Imperfect Plant. Installation of six panels in exhibition Natural Histories at the Farnham Maltings and touring in 2010. 230cm x 60cm x 6 panels https://www.axisweb.org/p/casholmes/workset/70687-imperfect-plant/

The Installation Exhibition “Taking a Thread for a Walk” MoMA, Floor 3, 3 North, The Philip Johnson Galleries October 21, 2019–January 10, 2021 was inspirational. This exhibition showcased within Taking a Thread for a Walk ancient textile traditions, early-20th-century design reform movements, and industrial materials and production methods. Featuring adventurous combinations of natural and synthetic fibres and spatially dynamic pieces that mark the emergence of more of a sculptural approach to textile art beginning in the 1960s, this show highlights the fluid expressivity of the medium within an exhibition format. https://www.moma.org/

Aurèlia Muñoz’s (1977) Águila Beige (Brown Eagle) A commanding work by Aurèlia Muñoz hangs at the entrance of Taking a Thread for a Walk. Águila Beige (Brown Eagle) is both sculpture and textile. Large jute and sisal panels hover like a bird taking flight. The work, part of Muñoz’s 1974 Entities series, brings together architectural and fibre art using macramé knotting. As Muñoz once explained, “By not using the loom, I can be freer in the development of sculptural forms and open areas.” https://www.moma.org/calendar/exhibitions/5101

A major new exhibition series celebrates the creative reclamation and nurturing spirit of Ghanaian artist El Anatsui (wallpaper.com).

El Anatsui (2019) “Logoligi Logarithm” comprises 66 individual units. The diaphanous structure is made using ultra-thin stitching made with bottle cap seals. Credit…Laetitia Vancon for The New York Times https://www.nytimes.com/2019/ I have been particularly struck by this artists work for some time now including his more recent 2019 exhibition whereupon he created a walkway through hanging structures which I hope to replicate using printed and stitched vintage linen to visualise emotional recovery and repair.

Through researching exhibition presentation methods especially concerning larger-scale textiles I have been increasingly informed by how I wish to present my own creative work. I have compiled checklists of what is required to best communicate my narrative for the audience to understand what is being communicated, to promote emotional relating and responding with and to the screen-printed vintage linen bedsheets with and without repair. All related exhibition literature with imagery of my artwork including the artwork itself will be clearly named, dated and described. I have been helped by Edge-textile artists Scotland who have been dedicated to promoting excellence in contemporary textile art since its formation in 1999 when three textile art groups from Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee joined forces to incorporate artists from across Scotland. Through their regular exhibition programme of events they have offered support to those exhibiting textiles including myself. Edge members often share their own personal checklists and key points for exhibiting including curating, the associated practicalities and evidencing the creative journey to photographing the artwork, planning the hanging stages and presentation of work, labelling and completing a price list.

Liza Green (July 2016) Tissue of Lies, Edge Textiles-Strands of Time, Edinburgh Palette, an independent, creative arts hub in the city, occupying all three galleries. The exhibition was entitled Strands Of Time. A wide range of interests informs the artists work: geographical, political, and social landscapes, the influence of human activity on the environment which are translated into textile panels and exhibited as installations.

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