I love the simplicity and the craftsmanship in these pieces - that consideration, care, and concentration which seems to be a hallmark of so many excellent weavers. It has always struck me that when people reel aghast at how long it takes me to stitch my pieces that that time is nothing when compared with the hand weaver.
The timeless qualities of the work attracted me, and I was delighted to find that craftsmanship and timelessness in the work of others in the show. It often comes over as a desire for neatness on my part. This is not so, necessarily, but in this post it certainly seems so. I believe that craftsmanship is like design: they should facilitate appreciation or be invisible - and definitely not get in the way of the primary message of the work.
I had to go up close fully to appreciate the qualities of Rachel Gray's work. I was intrigued by her description that 'Our clothes contain our secrets, secreted in seams and sewn into linings and kept close to the body.' Her work for me resembled short stories, or poems.
Each carefully framed, and belonging to the group while also being isolated. Carefully wrapped and stitched twigs with thorns, a strip of tablets, delicate fabric and rough, ....
For me there was a sense of vulnerability, of hiding what was really meant behind perhaps a now familiar language - but then is that not what fashion is?
It is certainly a lovely and rather beautifully disturbing manifestation of this kind of textile collage.
The other textile work which intrigued me was in the Book Arts section: the work of Suppamas Youngcharoen, whose page on the college site gives nothing away. But then, neither did the books except that they are meant to represent the four elements and are part of a project called Four Elements, 'exploring the building blocks of our universe through the language of colour craft and texture'. Yes, they are yummy, like yarn colour swatches are, but books?