elenahpowell

more weaving/craft is not a dirty word

In Edinburgh College of Art, Stanley Mills, Weaving on February 1, 2015 at 10:29 am

I’m doing a research presentation on Tuesday, the last one was terrible. And ended up being ‘what you’re doing is hobby, not art. Craft, not art. Why are you here?’, which kind of… sucked. So this one is angry. Well, not much. But it starts with Keith Arnatt.

It is slightly better than the last presentation – because last time I forgot to make my notes big enough to see in the dark. DUH. I just really do not like talking to people at all. My solution to ‘are you even an artist though’ is an ‘I don’t know’ disguised as INTERMEDIA. Think it’s safe to say I’m working in the space between disciplines here – blurring the boundaries between art and life, art and craft, craft and life. If it goes even worse than before, never mind.

Enough. More weaving.

finally got the full version of the weaving software I use – I can save files now. I’ve lost so many things in the last five months because I couldn’t save. So that’s pretty great. I’ve had a mad spree of making up drafts from anything and everything, and actually titling them (which is novel, since when do I title things?). It’s more I’ve been at home ill (our studio is very cold) and making drafts makes me feel like I’ve done something productive. Although I did go and weave a sample of one of them yesterday.

The intermedia micro-residency this year is at Stanley Mills – I wasn’t going to do it again because Cultybraggan was so stressful, and so much extra to do and there’s more to do this year. But it’s at a cotton mill. How could I not?! So I’m weaving the fabric of the building. I really love threads/fabric/textiles in language (my essay last semester was an object biography of a blanket – called A Stitch In Time. I was so proud. No, you’re not reading it), and the fabric of the building is a weird one. And it makes me so happy that I can actually do that.

I’m using all the key years in the history of the mil – opening, closing, take overs, fires etc. The fabric I wove yesterday was all the dates, but I’m probably going to do several variations using the same warp threading (all the years) and then just picking out one or two to use for the weft.

The warp is just grey wool I have a lot of (the spool is the size of my head), the orange and pink are cotton because y’know… cotton mill. And the blues are wool, just because I can’t not put blue in things. The fabric I’ll weave for the exhibition will probably be coloured cotton warps with a white cotton weft, and probably won’t be much wider than the sample (or even the same size). The mill wove thin bands of fabric – that’s the width of one pattern repeat (56 threads).

IMG_2734

IMG_2735

 

Turns out my favourite sketchbooks come in A4. So I have scaled up (as I’m told to do very often…I like small…).

I’ve kind of run out of time, we’re meant to be leaving to go to work now but my flatmate is being slow as usual. So I should probably stop and do the other drafts this evening – my current favourite is called Fuck You Hermes. It’s the tracking number of a parcel they failed to deliver. I got angry and made a draft.

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  1. I don’t know if ‘what you’re doing is hobby, not art. Craft, not art. Why are you here?’ is what you ask yourself or if the tutors ask you this, but you might be interested in Richard Sennett’s book ‘The craftsman’.
    Personally I think that the concept has taken over contemporary art and that the appreciation of skills suffer from this shift…but that’s just me 😉
    It’s been a long time I haven’t read your posts, good to be back on your page! You must be in your third year now, right? I’m in second year at GSA now and wonderfully desperate most of the time 😉
    Best,
    Barbara

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