Paid a visit to the recently expanded space of the Whitworth Art Gallery and really enjoyed the Art_Textiles exhibition which I managed to catch before it closes. I like the fact that the boundaries are blurring, and textiles/craft are now being recognised as a legitimate art practice and being shown in art gallery spaces. Many of the pieces certainly made a statement and more than held their own justifying their inclusion in the Whitworth's space. Below are a selection of the pieces that held my attention for a variety of reasons.
This piece is by Jessica Rankin is like a map, and is so intricate and delicate yet seems to make a strong statement.
These figurative sewing machine drawings (below), by Do Ho Suh are just beautiful. Would love to own one of these. (I will be showing some new works in February which also use the sewing machine as a drawing tool, and build on the Rabble series that I started last year).
There is a good sense of movement which is enhanced by the coloured threads.
This monumental, red woven piece by Magdalena Abakanowicz dominates the main exhibition space and brings together the disciplines of sculpture and tapestry.
I love looking at typography in its various forms so enjoyed the pieces in the exhibition by Lawrence Lemaoana, which referenced political banners used by Suffragettes and Trade Unions branches.
This piece by Miriam Schapiro was an intriguing crochet installation entitled Womb Room it was like being trapped in a giant spider web. Lots of wonderful patterns and textures were created by the crochet work.
Yet more good examples of type in textiles from Ghada Amer. These are stencilled political slogans over-layed with embroidered threads to create interesting textures.
I don't like everything that Tracey Emin creates, but I did like the combination of type and image on this appliquéd blanket which contained an embroidered female figure in her signature scratchy drawing style, and had coins sewn onto it spilling forth from female figure.
This installation by Mary Sibande was very powerful because of its scale and the associations of black people in roles of servitude. I like the way in which she counters this with the powerful homage and portrait of Madame CJ Walker an African-American hair care entrepeneur, who was the first self-made female millionaire in America.
Lastly a snippet of a Grayson Perry tapestry exploring issues of class and taste. The colours were so vibrant, and it was exquisitely crafted combining modern and traditional methods.
until 31st January 2016
Whitworth Art Gallery