Publication: Cultural Threads

cultural threadsCultural Threads  by Jessica Hemmings considers contemporary artists and designers who work at the intersection of cultures and use textiles as their vehicle. Ideas about belonging to multiple cultures, which can result in a sense of connection to everywhere and nowhere, are more pertinent to society today than ever. So too are the layers of history – often overlooked – behind the objects that make up our material world.

The roots of postcolonial theory lie in literature and have, in the past, been communicated through dense academic jargon. Cultural Threads breaks with what can read as impenetrable rhetoric to show the rich visual diversity of craft and art that engages with multiple cultural influences. Many of these objects exist in an in-between world of their own, not wholly embraced by the establishments of art, nor functional objects in the conventional sense of craft.

Cultural Threads is an exploration of contemporary textiles and their relationship with postcolonial culture. However, the postcolonial thinking examined here shares with craft an interest in the lived, rather than the purely theoretical, giving a very human account of the interactions in between craft and culture.

Jessica Hemmings is Professor of Visual Culture and Head of the Faculty of Visual Culture at the National College of Art & Design in Dublin, Ireland. Jessica is editor of The Textile Reader (Berg, 2012), In the Loop: Knitting Now (2010) and Warp and Weft: Woven Textiles in Fashion, Art and Interiors (Bloomsbury, 2012). She also regularly contributes articles and reviews to publications including Selvedge, Embroidery, and Surface Design Journal.
Text & images from the  Bloomsbury website.

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