The word ‘textile’ comes from the Latin texere, ‘to weave,’ an origin that also gives us the word ‘text.’ And so as cloth is created, so too is a connection to the lines we write and those that we weave. As one tries out new ideas in either medium, material is used, crumpled, and cut; lines and words are added and deleted, woven and unwoven; there are lines, spaces, marks and pattern. In the end, these two different languages share a number of common gestures.
Foolscap is a series of hand woven ‘sheets’ of lined paper. Lined paper is cheap, made for initial rough composition and not a polished final draft. It’s what you scribble on, explore with, and crumple up when you’re done, as opposed to a laboriously woven textile carefully calculated, measured, woven, cut and finished – the finished draft, so to speak.
Made from natural coloured and dyed cotton, this series works with writing and weaving as generative gestures – as the weaving progressed, the rough, blank materials for exploration were made. Repeat hangs down the wall and pools on the floor, offering endless space or perhaps an impossible task, while Strike is already wrinkled, the space between its lines marked in red, anticipating and correcting future mistakes. Crumple is squashed, ready for the scrap bin.
Nostalgically recalling both bygone school days full of essays and exams, but also the simple cloth that supports our days, these three works are scaled to be cartoonish and humorous, emphasizing their textured, easily draped shape.
Photographs by Phillipa C.
Strung Out and Undone, at the Living Arts Centre, Mississauga, ON as part of the World of Threads Festival. October 25 – November 30 2014.