Lately, cocooned as I am in a house in Stockport with little to do and even less cash, my thirst for such things has been ‘reawakened’, if I may use so grand a term, and I have been reading a book called (rather literally) ‘Contemporary Textiles’. Fascinating. The pieces are ‘shot through’ with humour, with sexuality, with nostalgia…and – they look beautiful.
I’m sure most people go through life without giving a second thought to the nature of textile art, but I still think it is an under-promoted medium, and one which has as much ability to inspire emotion and reactions as a well-taken photograph, or a cleverly-constructed installation.
First up, Andrea Deszo, whose delicately hand-embroidered pictures say much about die-hard assumptions and traditional values inherent in the raising of girls:
Anila Rubiku’s intricately-made houses are beautiful, yes, and literally luminous, but the domestic scenes depicted on the outside of each house bring the realities of life to the surface:
Tilleke Schwarz, a personal favourite, stitches incredibly intricate pieces of what I can only describe as ‘textile graffiti’…
Tucker Schwarz’s work is much more delicate, to the point where it looks like it might disintegrate in your hands. It gives me a feeling of unease, somehow, as though the embroiderer has been interrupted, and never got to go back to finish her sewing.
To say that Moira Chester’s Nail Dress depicts where ‘fashion meets art’ would be to do it a disservice, I think. But I do love the fragility of the dress ‘caught’ by the rusting nails.
And…finally. Melissa Ichiuji, the artist I wish I had the guts to be. Her figures, usually women in some expression of their ‘femaleness’ are created from old tights, false teeth, soft furnishings…but the one thing you can count on is that they’re always unsettling.