Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Rob Ryan

Met my old friend Zac yesterday for his last day in London and went to see the Rob Ryan exhibition at the Rebecca Hossack gallery. It's to go with his lovely new book which I am buying as soon as possible. The gallery is lovely, bright and airy with a tiny twisty staircase leading upstairs. It was bigger than I had expected the window was decorated too :D

Rob Ryan does beautiful intricate hand cut sillouette drawings, much imagery of nature, people (and lots of ladders) with text, very romantic and lonely. But believing in love. A contemporary fairytale?

Scan of Rob Ryan postcard sold at exhibition

It appeals very much to my love of the decorative and my though I don't like to admit it, romantic nature. In ways it it is similar to my work - it's intricate, illustrative and centres around people and emotions. But Rob Ryan's work has a more crafted, drawn and personal feel. It is as if the artwork is his diary and the feelings portrayed are his feelings. My work is less honest in that way. Although I draw, it is on the computer and has a less drawn feel, and is more simplistic. Also my stories never admit to being about me even if they are. I think this is a valid way of working and I like that some people see my work as humourous while others see more to it.

Page from my current storybook

I'll be keeping an eye on what's going on at the Rebecca Hossack gallery from now on as it's a really nice space and an interesting gallery with a strong focus on aboriginal art. I saw a beautiful book they were selling called The Night life of Trees by Bhajju Shyam, Ram Singh Urveti and Durga Bai. Really decorative yet simple prints of the spirits in the trees after dark. I think I might have to buy this book too as it is gorgeous. And as an excuse my current story involves a tree with a spirit!

Page from The Night Life of Trees

Afterwards Zac and I had lunch at Pure California, I recommend it. It does really good fresh smoothies, you can build your own salad, they only use natural ingredients and best of all they use free range meat. This is important as since I read Planet Chicken by Hattie Ellis I've decided against eating chicken that's not free range. But I won't go into that. (though I will link the book, it's good, however if I were to criticise I'd say the argument was one sided and I'd like to see more of what battery farmers had to say in their defence)

Friday, 26 October 2007

Ever and Again - Experimental recycled Textiles

I just caught this exhibition before it finished yesterday at Chelsea College of Art and Design and I'm glad I did! It is the work of TED designers and some guest designers creating new textile products from old ones, giving things new and increased value.

I particularly like:

Rebecca Earley's heat printed shirts, old shirts freshly printed with gardening inspired prints. floral but modern, intended for wearing in the garden, growing your own food.

Emma Neubergs plastic bag/packaging laminated skirts. They are bright, fun, and make a statement by twisting the slogans. It is almost storytelling.

Kathryn Round and Charlotte Mann's work, printing photographs of old clothes on organic fabric, to keep the memory of well loved clothes. I hate getting rid of things so I have piles of useless things. Clothes that don't fit or that have no armpits or something. So I love this idea that I could still wear something that is really too old or doesn't fit. I don't know that this is recyling so much though. Is printing on organic fabric, a photograph of something old not a bit of a tenuous link? I guess it means the actual item can then go to someone who it does fit. Or also, it means the item has served another purpose even though it's part is soon over.

Gary Page's dress that goes through 3 redesigns to freshen it up and lengthen its life. It starts as a plain organic cotton dress. Then it is indigo dyed and ruffled. Then it is printed by Rob Ryan (Yay!) and finally its restyled and sparkled. The owner sends the dress to get redesigned when ever they feel it is time. This is a lovely way to lengthen the life of a product. In a way interactive. After being with a dress through 4 incarnations I can see a person being emotionally attached to the dress and less likely to throw it away.

What is a Textile? What is Innovation? What is Textiles Future?

Christine Borland - Bullet Proof Breath - Glass and Spidersilk

Do-Ho Suh - Sheer Fabric House

Kyoko Kumai - Woven Steel

Teppo Asikainen - Cloud Chamber

Almira Sadar and Marija Jenko - Snow Queen - Relief Moulded Felt

Clare Goddard - Preservation - Industrially coated petal fabric

William Morris - Chrysanthemum Wallpaper 1877

E.V.Day - Transporter - 2000 - Sequin dress shredded and suspended between mirrors

Noh Robe Detail - Japan - Gold leaf and embroidery

Tyrolean look cotton scarf

Weaving on a vertical loom in Cameroon using fibres extracted from fronds of raphia palm

Textiles appeal to senses and emotion.
Innovation improves life.
Future Textiles should appeal to senses and emotions while improving life.