warp+weft:contemporary woven textiles (foreground work by Laura Thomas)
We finally opened our long awaited exhibition at the Oriel Myrddin Gallery, warp+weft: contemporary woven fabrics last night. It has been funded by The Laura Ashley Foundation and the curator is Cardiff based weaver, Laura Thomas. Laura has curated a sister show at The National Wool Museum which is also in Carmarthenshire.
Priti Veja - photograph: Toril Brancher
We have been working on this project for a long time and it includes a really fabulous catalogue (£12.50 in the gallery!) for which we commissioned photographs from Abergavenny based photographer Toril Brancher, she has made a stunning series of images for us.
Ainsley Hillard - photograph: Toril Brancher
Laura is nothing short of a powerhouse! She has not only curated and hung these two shows, but also arranged a symposium which happened today, warp+weft: cross-disciplinary approaches to weave which was directed by Dr Jessica Hemmings from Edinburgh School of Art. Not content with these achievements, she also organised a retrospective student show for the textile department of West Wales School of the Arts in Carmarthen where she lectures AND a Fibre Art Wales (she is the Secretary) show, Exposed: textiles in the open, both at The National Botanic Gardens of Wales which were opened yesterday.
The discipline of weave is a difficult area - it seems to lack the sexiness of other textile disciplines and carries a bundle of unhelpful stereotypes with it. In fact it is a really exciting area of craft development, cutting edge ideas and technologies are at the forefront of practice. That is what this show celebrates - it is fantastic that in the historical heart of the weaving industry here in Carmarthenshire, we are getting a glimpse of exemplary contemporary work.
The show features work by makers well known in their field, many are considered pioneers amongst their peers: Peter Collingwood, Sue Hiley Harris, Ainsley Hillard, Makeba Lewis, Lucy McMullen, Ptolemy Mann, Ann Richards, Ismini Samanidou in collaboration with Gary Allman, Kathy Schicker, Reiko Sudo, Ann Sutton, Hiroko Takeda, Laura Thomas and Priti Veja.
Ismini Samanidou - photograph: Toril Brancher
Carmarthenshire has, without a doubt been the hub of the weaving world this weekend!