Yesterday’s visit to Ruthin Craft Centre felt like a pilgramage. Anni Albers is such an important person in terms of her influence on contemporary textiles, an influence that also goes so much wider than that. Her books On Weaving and On Designing are littered with little nuggets of wisdom and insight that are applicable to any disciplne.
Knowing a little about weave I’m sure makes a real difference to what you get out of visiting an exhibition like this. I think if you understand (even part) of how these pieces have been produced it helps. Much of her work is seemingly simple but her understanding of her materials and processes is so evident.
I spent a long time looking very closely at this piece City trying to work out how on earth it was done and marvelling at it.
Although I really enjoyed seeing the textile pieces and the prints the small samples of experimental mark making (with a type writer) and texture made a big impression, as did watching the video of an interview with Anni in her later years and hearing her talk about her life and work in her modest way.
In the accompanying exhibition Inspired by: The leagacy of Anni Albers much of the work was interesting to see first hand from a technical point, it being work of artists that I’m familiar with from various articles but hadn’t seen ‘in the flesh’ before. I was, however, particularly intrigued by Fiona Mathison’s Sanctums.
There are elements of hand written text incorporated into the vertical structures of the installation along with various materials: threads, plastics, wrapped, bound, altered.
As you walk between the structures and the wall mounted mirrored tapestry boxes there is something of being inside one of those Klimt birch wood paintings.
More intrigue in the simple forms of Dorte Behn’s New Space 1 where woven planes intersect.
The third exhibition Elemental is beautifully layed out with 14 artists/makers’ work intermingling with one another. Of all the artists here Wycliffe Stutchbury made the biggest impression and not just because of his amazing name!
I found his work really stunning. It has something of the simplicity and respect for material that I love about Sue Lawty’s work. I could deffinitely live with a few of these adorning my walls.