Textile sculpture

Weaving the New Normal from the Fabric of the Old

Due to lockdown my textile group started meeting via Zoom. We settled on three possible activities for the summer term: Collographs, Silk Painting and Weaving using chicken wire as a base. As I had previously worked on collographs, I decided to try the other two.

I missed the part of the discussion which mentioned the size as tabletop nightlight. So when the chicken wire arrived I set to work on moulding it into a life-sized female torso.

All talk in the media at the time was of us needing to find a ‘New Normal’. I assumed the new normal would contain parts of the old normal, with the addition of new elements and would not have a polished finish as we continued to adjust.

For my starting point of materials to weave I took a quilt top which had been pieced from a jelly roll (2.5 inch strips). The colouring of the quilt top brought to mind the series of paintings of The Card Players by Paul Cezanne. I decided to try to work with a similar colour palette.

My initial thoughts were that the chicken wire framework could be a container for ‘inner thoughts’ a collection of all the soundbites I associated with the pandemic. As the work developed it became apparent to me that these are two different artworks.

So the chicken wire and fabric strips were joined by strips of sari silk and other fibres to become Weaving the New Normal from the Fabric of the Old.

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