This week I have spent three very full days within the V&A museum. I have been looking, drawing, writing, researching, photographing (photographed), giving a talk in the gallery and extending my extremely limited I.T / technical skills a little further. I have also been closeted for very many hours with the most stunning textiles which lie concealed, in row upon row of drawers in the museum’s textile store. A major part of the residency is to:
“create a new work in direct response to the diverse and comprehensive textile collection at the V&A. This collaboration provides a unique opportunity for an innovative and established artist to work directly with the curator of contemporary textiles, to extend her practice as a tapestry weaver and to create a piece of work which will be acquired by the Contemporary Textile Collection as a permanent record of the collaboration.”
Sue Prichard, Curator, Contemporary Textiles, V&A
This is a tremendous opportunity, which I embrace. It’s also a little daunting to have what is essentially a very private creative process made public through this blog! However I am not under duress so we will see where it leads.. This extract is from sketchbook notes of 6 June 2005: (I should point out at this stage that there is a strict rule that any work undertaken in the textile stores of the historic collection must be done in pencil. I like pen on a page so go over it afterwards.) This is an exciting time. I include a few images to set the scene. Expect many more in future postings of both the textiles I’m looking at and the sketches/ notes/ samples that are evolving. I have an open mind at the moment about what the new work will be. The stimulus is enormous. And the whole collecting ‐ storage element is fascinating in itself. Who knows where it’s all going to lead.