Some of you may know that I am a member of Textile Study Group and during this last year our “thought-provoking” exhibition DIS/rupt has been touring. It opened in May last year in Stroud, Gloucestershire as part of the SIT select 2017 festival and I travelled down to see the work. The exhibition has been visited by many hundreds of people since it opened in Stroud, then the later venues Gallery Oldham near Manchester, Minerva Arts Centre, Llanidloes home of the Quilt Association, mid Wales, but last weekend it opened to the public in the Tweeddale Museum and Art Gallery, Peebles. Textile Study Group had exhibited in the Peebles gallery some years ago, before I was a member and I remember visiting the exhibition, Creative Dialogues, and being impressed by the space as well as the work. The main gallery is a large exhibiting space, lit from above by roof windows as well as gallery lighting and the lower gallery which has been painted white since that earlier visit also shows the work off very well with natural and gallery lighting.
The gallery itself is easily accessed from the High Street in Peebles and from what I could see there is on-street parking and a car park within easy walking distance. Peebles itself is in such a lovely part of the country and there are many local outlets to make a day visit worthwhile apart from the exhibition. Entry is through the archway in the centre of this photograph which leads into a lovely courtyard and then the gallery is to the right just in the courtyard and up stairs.
So after a year, what did I think of my work when I saw it on the wall? Well, over the months I have felt more detached about it, which I think is a good thing. The purpose of the exhibition, developed over a series of group discussions, was to challenge ourselves to work outside our normal practice and address difficult challenging topics of contemporary experience and as I think I said at this time last year, I certainly felt DIS/rupted by the process. Not that in itself is a bad thing as it can be too easy to always turn out variations of the same thing.
I chose to look at the migration situation and the refugee crisis which, when I started the designing process, was on our television screens a lot, but not a topic for the faint-hearted. I based my thinking on the gesture of a hand grasping cloth but developed one piece to incorporate fibre optics and e-textiles “pin pricks of hope in the darkness”. I should state here and now that my knowledge and experience of either of these was minimal! Therefore I have to thank Loraine Clark of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art for all her help and while I can not profess any great expertise, thanks to Loraine I do now know a little more than I did.
The learning was interesting and it is something that I may look at again but one thing I have come to understand is that if you rely on a power source to be close to your work, whether for sound or lighting, then galleries can be restricted in the choices they can make for the position of work in the gallery. Anyway that aside, I was happy with where my work is showing in Peebles (cabling is discreet) and although the gallery is well lit, my little fibre optics, the “pin pricks of hope” can be seen, so thank you to the staff at the gallery.
This exhibition finishes in Peebles on 28 July and for full information about opening hours and access please contact the gallery Tweeddale Museum & Art Gallery
There are three workshops being run by members, Alison King, Mary Sleigh and Julia Triston, to accompany the exhibition and more information about them and availability of workshop places can also be found at the gallery website.
For more information about Textile Study Group and DIS/rupt look at the group website Textile Study Group
Hope you can visit………..