PART 5 PERSONAL PROJECT – OPTION 2 – A site specific piece – PRESS RELEASE

BRIEF – SITE SPECIFIC PIECE – Write a 500 word press release with photographs, which explains the ideas behind your work and your choice of location.

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“Borrowed – Patched”

Fibre Artist – Penni Redding

new P1020015

“Borrow – Patched” – 4 individual textiles works exploring the Etymology of the English language.

Techniques – Smocking, Pleating, Patchwork, Hand stitching, Machine embroidery. Digital printing, Thermofax screen printing, Hand painting, Cut out techniques.

Materials – Organic cotton, Hemp, Eco-friendly fabric paper, Recycled dictionary papers, Handmade paper from renewable crops. Book binder’s linen thread. Wax.

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“Borrowed – Patched “ visually explores the complexities behind the formation of the English Language throughout History. A language that has adopted and borrowed words from the invasion of the Roman, Norse and French who came to Britain and from the Spanish, Italians and Portuguese with whom  the English traded with. Over time some words have changed meaning and others have been modified in spelling but collectively they represent a patched and pieced together language.

“Borrowed – Patched” is the second piece of work concerning the theme of language taking a retrospective view as inspiration and using textile related words as the focus for the techniques used and also for dictionary work. Previous work focussed on the infiltration of modern day ”lazy” language and the influences of SMS texting abbreviations, street slang as well as word blending for newly coined words. This second piece also looks at word blending and change but with a focus on historical influences, for example, patchwork being a blend of 2 words and formulated in 1690 but it also considers the influence of other cultures and how we now accept these words as being English.

Working alongside the theme of Etymology is the notion of sustainability. A word we hear almost daily however within textiles the word takes on a different meaning. It really refers to establishing a sustainable practice utilising processes that reflect the concept to ensure continued production with minimum impact to the environment. These might include revisiting hand and craft techniques and using them to inform new work. In this case pleating, smocking and patchwork techniques give a refreshing interpretation of old techniques simply by rethinking the scale.  Choosing materials that reduce environmental impact is also a consideration.  In this piece substrates are from sustainable crops, such as hemp and organic cotton, a particular handmade paper made from renewable crops chosen for its least environmentally damaging qualities and recycled papers from damaged Oxford University Press Dictionaries destined for disposal in land fill. Lastly digital printing, a “greener” way of print production and the use of a special paper fabric made from recycled plastic bottles have also been used.

Overall this piece is about preservation – preservation of textile skills, language, environment and history and the use of wax with its historical associations with preservation and serves as a visual metaphor for this concept.

The Bodleian Library, a magnificent holding of many precious books and manuscripts, is also synonymous with preservation and was chosen as a location for the more obvious connection to old books, old language and therefore old influences but more poignantly for its long established position in History as a respected place of learning. It’s the depth of history and respect for the past that makes it the right environment to successfully convey my personal fear of the English language being under siege from modern linguistic influences.  Given the rarity and incalculable value of some of the books, strict policies are in place to conserve and preserve such items so I have chosen to use The Divinity School, which lies directly beneath and supports the library as an alternative. This was also a place of learning and offers open space and ever changing qualities of light. Light representing the element of time and that time moves on.

To consolidate the concept there are subtle references to the environment.  The dictionary pages chosen contain relevant words and are singled out much in the same way as single letters were enhanced in ancient manuscripts within the Gutenberg Bible held within the library. The viewer is encouraged to interact with the art work and make use of the magnifying glass that accompanied one of the dictionaries.  Waxed linen book binders thread has been used for stitching and quotes from Shakespeare also appear on the recycled papers in recognition of the Library holding Shakespeare’s First Folio. Subtle visual references to the tessellation of shapes within the stone carved ceiling appear throughout the work and the honeycomb patchwork echoes this repeating pattern. The artwork has been created with the intention to be viewed from both sides allowing for light to shine through certain areas to reveal areas of translucency evocative of ancient parchment paper.

 

Digital scan of Vintage Bodleian Aerial view print has been digitally printed onto a paper fabric substrate that is produced from recycled plastic bottles. This is one of the visual references detailed in the work to reflect the environment in which the work is displayed.  Cut out areas have been created to allow light to filter through. This example also shows the traditional technique of smocking but with a larger more contemporary approach.

Digital scan of Vintage Bodleian Aerial view print has been digitally printed onto a paper fabric substrate that is produced from recycled plastic bottles. This is one of the visual references detailed in the work to reflect the environment in which the work is displayed. Cut out areas have been created to allow light to filter through. This example also shows the traditional technique of smocking but with a larger more contemporary approach.

 

The second side of the Aerial map work shows an abstraction print of the tessellated stone carved ceiling. Hand printed and hand painted.

The second side of the Aerial map work shows an abstraction print of the tessellated stone carved ceiling. Hand printed and hand painted.

 

One of the long panels depicts a digital repeated pattern of The Bodleian Library window, digitally printed and manipulated with large scale smocking techniques using book binders wax thread.

One of the long panels depicts a digital repeated pattern of The Bodleian Library window, digitally printed and manipulated with large scale smocking techniques using book binders wax thread.

 

A vertical panel which has been hand pleated on one side and rolled on the other combines several elements of the English Language by using a digital print of patch worked dictionary pages and machine embroidered textile related words.

A vertical panel which has been hand pleated on one side and rolled on the other combines several elements of the English Language by using a digital print of patch worked dictionary pages and machine embroidered textile related words.

 

Large scale hexagonal patches make a reference to the tessellated pattern of the ceiling using the colours and light qualities within the exhibiting space as inspiration. Fabric and paper substrates are from sustainable sources and further references to the space are in the form of abstract prints and selected words from reclaimed Oxford University Dictionaries.  This example shows the word PLEAT outline stitched to enhance the relevance, similar to the way some letters were illustrated in the Medieval Manuscripts held at the Bodleian.

Large scale hexagonal patches make a reference to the tessellated pattern of the ceiling using the colours and light qualities within the exhibiting space as inspiration. Fabric and paper substrates are from sustainable sources and further references to the space are in the form of abstract prints and selected words from reclaimed Oxford University Dictionaries. This example shows the word PLEAT outline stitched to enhance the relevance, similar to the way some letters were illustrated in the Medieval Manuscripts held at the Bodleian.

This entry was posted in 4 Press release, LEVEL 2 - TEXTILES 2 : Contemporary Practice, Option 2 - A site-specific piece, PART 5 Personal project. Bookmark the permalink.

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