Tabitha Kyoko Moses - Hair Purse - Seen here
I went to the opening of The Dart Board for Witches at Aberystwyth Arts Centre last night. It is good to have an overview of this kind; a look at the way textiles have been accepted into fine art practice and contextualised historically, culturally, politically. The show is themed with a focus on the human figure. There is generally a preponderance of women working in this way, textiles often still carry a strong feminist message; most of the exhibitors are women, but two men are also showing.
My favourite piece in the show is Tabitha Kyoko Moses' Hair Purse, curiously repellent and intriguing. I couldn't help thinking about the sporran my dad wore with his kilt when I was young!
I like Naori Priestly's work, I hadn't seen The Shadow of the Mother before, Louise Bourgeois, hovered in my mind, but with Naori's dark fairy tale edge.
Naori Priestly - The Shadow of the Mother
The painted carpets of Finnish artist, Silja Puranen are particularly strong. A combination of transfer photography, textile paint, soft pastels and stitching - new techniques and ancient techniques together making a highly distinctive style.
I wrote about about Rosalind Wyatt a while ago, and have only seen her Stitch Life of Others series in images, so was very pleased to get a chance to see something in the flesh.
Rosalind Wyatt - The Stitch Life of Others (part)
There are two textile works by Aberystwyth based Mary Lloyd Jones, I saw some of these pieces at Ruthin Craft Centre last year, and found them very engaging. I was a bit disappointed that there is only one piece by Laura Ford, I was hoping to have a chance to see some of her more recent work.
Overall I think it is a good show, but also a safe show in many ways - I would quite have liked to see some more experimental pieces - but it is a rapidly moving discipline and this is where publicly funded galleries are disadvantaged, the long lead in for curation and publicity always keeps the show a whisker behind the cutting edge.