Select Festival 2016: Soft Engineering

Deirdre Woods Multi interlocking ringsSoft Engineering
Textiles Taking Shape

Alison Ellen, Ann Richards, Deirdre Wood
Dates: Saturday 30 April – Sunday 22 May
Museum in the Park Stratford park Stroud GL5 4AF
Times: Tuesday – Friday 10 am – 5 pm
Saturday and Sunday 11 am – 5 pm
Open Bank Holidays

Soft Engineering brings together, for the first time, the work of three inspiring textile designer makers. Having pursued separate careers in knitting and weaving, they find many common threads that have now inspired them to work together on this joint exhibition. Despite employing different techniques and structures, their approaches interconnect and cross over in intriguing and sometimes surprising ways.

Their passion for textiles shines through the original work that has been specifically created for this fascinating exhibition. Soft Engineering introduces a central theme of textiles that take shape through the interplay of raw material and structure that plays out in varied ways: repetition/displacement of simple shapes, pleating, folding, twisting and double-sided fabrics.

The exhibition will be complemented by workshops and a half day seminar.

Deirdre Wood
Deirdre brings a fresh approach to the ancient technique of strip weaving, with strips that are twisted before being joined by sewing. The result is a cloth that moves into the third dimension, creating geometric pieces designed for architectural settings. Ikat-dyeing brings dynamic movement and extra definition to these abstract forms. Her most recent work breaks new ground as curving strips emerge from the contrasting properties of linen and silk.

Ann Richards
Ann weaves fabrics that are smooth and rectangular on the loom but are transformed when soaked in water. The energy of high-twist wools and silks is released, causing yarns to spiral spontaneously, pleating the fabrics into flexible, textured scarves and clothes. Her latest work, a range of textile jewellery, combines these traditional materials with a silk/steel yarn that gives the fabric a temporary ‘memory’ for additional pleats and folds.Ann Richards Triple Spiral neckpiece large
Alison Ellen
Alison approaches the design and making of handknitted garments by using the flexible structure of knitting and different stitch combinations to shape the fabric. She plays with variations in scale, stitches and the direction of knitting, allowing the structure of the fabric itself and the three-dimensional form of the garment to emerge seamlessly together. Her most recent work applies these techniques to create elegant sculptural pieces based on organic forms.


Text and images: SIT Select

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