Concealed

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.) Sketchbook notes, room 110 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.

Working in the textile store Textile store
Researching in the textile store

Textile, Egyptian, Museum no. T.345a-1977 - Click to enlarge. Museum no. T.120-1953 - Click to enlarge. Museum no. 559a-1891 - Click to enlarge. Museum no. T.348-1977 - Click to enlarge. Museum no. 559a-1891 - Click to enlarge. Museum no. T215-1977 - Click to enlarge.
Museum no. T139-1976 - Click to enlarge. Museum no. T148-1976 - Click to enlarge. Museum no. T.344-1977 - Click to enlarge. Museum no. 360-1889 - Click to enlarge. Museum no. Circ.409-1932 - Click to enlarge. Museum no. 1840-1898 - Click to enlarge.
Museum no. T.71.1933 - Click to enlarge. Museum no. T.75-1933 (detail) - Click to enlarge. Museum no. T.75-1933 - Click to enlarge. Museum no. 1060-1903 - Click to enlarge. Museum no. 1058-1903 - Click to enlarge. Storage draws, textile store. V&A - Click to enlarge.


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