Saturday, 13 October 2018

Catherine Wright Eco Printed Merino Silk Scarf

A couple of weekends ago we visited the Arts in Oxford gallery to see the Cutting Edge: Freeing Textiles exhibition.  This exhibition runs through to 28 October 2018.

The gallery web page poses the following question, which is one textile art continually struggles with.  For me the answer is yes it is art, fluid and free to range.

But is it Art?

Textiles have long been the Cinderella of the art world; for some, marking the boundaries between between art and craft – should textile work be thought-provoking, intellectual or political? Or should it be practical, domestic, decorative and inviting – perhaps something to do in a spare moment? Or should it be fluid, free to range where it will, manifesting in individual works that resist categorising?

The Cutting Edge: Freeing Texiles is a glimpse into the varied and eclectic world of very different artists from all over New Zealand currently working in the textile arena.  Drawn from diverse practices, the works show a breadth of interest and technique that questions the boundaries of the traditional view of textiles.

The Exhibition

In respect for the artists work I only took two general room shots, which give you an impression of the exhibition. The detail in some of the pieces was amazing. The giant dungarees had sashiko stitching on them which you can't see at all.

Catherine Wright Eco-printed scarf

I couldn't resist purchasing a Catherine Wright eco-printed merino silk scarf in glorious natural and red tones. Unfortunately I can't show you an actual picture because it has to stay at the gallery until the exhibition is finished. Hopefully I get to take it home before I leave for Houston because I want to take it with me as part of the Houston travel wardrobe.

I think the bottom of this photo is a close-up of my scarf which can be seen from a distance in the first exhibition photo (the one with the dungarees) on the left hand side in the centre. Will update this post with a picture of my actual scarf when I get it.

With the purchase of the scarf I was given a copy of Catherine's artist statement. Having only been eco-printing for a year her scarves are amazingly beautiful with fabulous colour. Just shows what a magnificent part of the world we live in.

Workshops and Artist Talk

In conjunction with the exhibition, there are/were two workshops, featuring long-time feltmaker and craft dyer Kate Mahoney and inspired eco-printer Catherine Wright, and an artist talk by Patricia Took-Stephens.

On 30 September Kate taught how to make an embellished felted purse. Celia Wilson talks about the experience and shares some photos.

Patricia Took-Stephens’ Artist Talk on 14 October at 2pm will be about her work, its inspiration and its development. Patricia is a North Canterbury textile artist.

On 21 October eco-printer Catherine Wright is holding a technical workshop teaching the basic techniques of eco-dyeing on wool and silk fabrics. I was very tempted to take this class but I am spending two days sewing with Gertie on the Thursday and Friday and being realistic instead of rushing in to do everything, another class on the Sunday would be too much.

Here is a gratuitous photo of the Torlesse Range which looked very beautiful with their cap of snow in the Spring sunshine, looking across one of the many cow pastures appearing throughout the Canterbury Plains. Love the mountains not so sure about using the Plains to grow cows given the need for huge irrigation infrastructure, which of course won't damage our precious aquifers - the farmers and their experts say so.

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