Exhibition | Symposium : Thread

Thread is the gathering of four artists from different cultures and lived experiences sharing common ground; an overwhelming interest in the very stuff of textile practice, of lives lived in and through the literal and metaphoric language of thread. Their work is shown at the Elysium Gallery and is curated by Angela Maddox , Anne Jordan and Lorna Hamilton-Brown

Each artist recognising the potential of one drawn out, spun out, teased out fibre – in both singular and multiple forms – to perform as storyteller, witness, soothsayer, and to be simultaneously capable of healing and harm.

A thread twisted and plied with others, passed through the eye of a needle, the shed of a loom, the tip of a hook, slipped from twinned needles. The wrapped, pieced, tangled, bound, plied, woven, folded, stretched, torn, printed, hooked, knitted, unravelled, stitched, unpicked, blocked, eased, and dyed. All of this.

The thread of stories and narratives, of myths and constructed truths, of obsession, violence, and celebration. Threads worn at and through the body. All life is to be found in a thread.

Thread is an imperative, an instruction. Its practices of joining, increasing, and attaching are ones of expansion and growth. This Thread, and its gathered together fabric, its tales of objects and making, is a hopeful thing. It marks an emerging and new language of textile practice.Exhibition Details

Elysium Gallery
210 & 211 High St,
Swansea. SA1 1PE.
Preview: Friday 10th September 7-10pm
Exhibition continues until 16th October
Gallery open Weds – Sat 11am – 6pm

A Symposium, featuring both artists and curators, will be held on Saturday October 2nd 2021.

Time: Oct 2, 2021 3:00 PM London
Other Thread related events will be listed on the Elysium Gallery website.
Online: Zoom


Meeting ID: 882 6787 0079
Passcode: 686331

Raisa Kabir
Raisa is an interdisciplinary artist, who utilises woven textiles, sound, video and performance to translate and visualise concepts concerning the politics of cloth, labour and embodied geographies. She addresses cultural anxieties surrounding nationhood, textile identities and the cultivation of borders; as well as examining the encoded violence in histories of labour in globalised neo-colonial textile production. Her weaving performances comment on power, production, disability and the body as a living archive of collective trauma. Kabir has participated in residencies and exhibited work internationally at The Whitworth, The Tetley, Raven Row, Cove Park, Textile Arts Center NYC, and the Center for Craft Creativity and Design U.S. Kabir has lectured on her research on South Asian textile cultures at Tate Modern, Institute of Contemporary Art London, London College of Fashion, The Courtauld, Royal College of Art, Manchester School of Art and Edinburgh College of Art.

Shelly Goldsmith
Goldsmith’s practice explores the power of cloth and clothing to communicate ideas, textiles as a rich landscape for expression. She creates narrative-based work that speaks of identity, fragility, and loss. Being rigorously crafted and visually stimulating her practice’s artistic endeavour provokes reflection and curiosity around what it is to be human and what it means to wear clothes. Through external funding bids she has collaborated with professionals from psychology, neonatal medicine, and forensic science. Through these collaborations her work seeks to communicate complex ideas through the familiar medium of clothes and cloth, in a fine art context.

‘Locus of the Dress’ a major textile research project undertaken with Arts Council and UCA funding explores the imprint of our lives on the garments we wear, the fine yet powerful veneer of cloth which covers our body.  Through this body of work, I view garments as having two distinct landscapes, inside and outside, both depositories for memory and experience, and boundaried by different parts of our psyche. I investigate the EXTERNAL & INTERNAL landscape of a dress, its zones of psychogeography, a place we inhabit as home physically & psychologically.

Closely guided by J Rotter’s 1950’s psychological theory Locus of  Control, I collaborated with psychologist Dr. Hermina Hernaiz (the Maudsley Hospital, London) to explore this theory which pinpoints our sense of self, on a spectrum. Pertinent to our times, those with an EXTERNAL Locus feel powerless to life’s events, feeling like things are being done to them. We are all striving for a strong INTERNAL Locus, enabling command, responsibility & autonomy. I draw upon work undertaken with Dr. Alison Fendley, UK Forensic Science service to explore aspects of the physical and metaphysical boundaries of the clothes we wear, especially concerned with the memories and experience which are deposited there, how this is read/understood and retrieved.

An autoethnographic approach is taken, key to my methodology, I mine my own psychological journey and two pertinent geographical locations (Cincinnati and the Thanetian Coast) as key content in the investigation; Cincinnati where my parents emigrated to represents the external loci and the Thanetian coast where I now live represents the internal loci’.

Ramsgate based artist Shelly Goldsmith has been working with ideas-based textiles for over 25 years. She has exhibited at major galleries and museums in Britain, Europe, USA and Japan and her work is in many notable public collections including the Victoria & Albert Museum and most recently acquired for the Haberdashers’ Livery Company and the Crafts Council, London.

In 2020 Goldsmith was awarded the Vlieseline Fine Art Textile Award, She is the recipient of the Jerwood Prize and recently received an honourable mention for the London International Creative Award.

Most recent international exhibitions include ‘Loss & Lucidity’, Lisbon, Portugal and Santa Ana, USA; Metamorphosis, Ronse, Belgium and ‘Lace Effects’, Cité internationale de la dentelle et de la mode de Calais, France. Recent Kent based exhibitions include ‘Dresses for Giants’; Łódź Blouse Trilogy and ‘Drawn to Ohio’.

Other Artists in the exhibition include: Shona Robin MacPherson, Lasmin Salmon  Imogen Mills and Siwan Thomas

Text and images: with thanks to Angela Maddox, Elysium Gallery and the Artists

{ Comments are closed! }