Phoenix Contemporary Textiles Group usually exhibits every two years and our exhibition Seen Unseen was supposed to have been shown in October 2020. However due to all the uncertainty around the pandemic last year we made the decision to postpone our exhibition by 12 months until 2021. This has given us an extra year to work on our ideas and we are now excited to be showing our work at two different venues in the autumn.
Robert Phillips Gallery
Riverhouse Barn, Manor Road
Surrey. KT12 2PF
Wednesday 13 October until Sunday 31 October
Further details, including a map to the Gallery, can be found by visiting the Exhibitions page of the Phoenix Contemporary Textiles website.
95 High Rd,
London NW10 2SF
Tuesday 16 November until Saturday 27 November 2021
Further information can be found here: Willesden Gallery
Seen Unseen: background
We chose the exhibition title Seen Unseen, after much deliberation as a group, because we felt this title allowed enough freedom to be open to various interpretations but also carried with it an element of intrigue. Our artists have
definitely not disappointed, as their responses to this title have encompassed various aspects of life, including the natural and the built environment, history and mankind’s impact on the world, the language of politics, mindfulness, graffiti, perception and memory.
As a group of contemporary artists we set out to challenge people’s perception of textile art. This is especially true this year and visitors to “SeenUnseen” can expect to see a wide range of both traditional and more unconventional materials and techniques being employed. We also pride ourselves on our innovative and imaginative displays in our exhibitions, which we hope will send the visitor away feeling excited and
stimulated by new ideas.
Preview of SeenUnseen
As we approach the opening of our exhibition we thought we would give you a taster of the work we will be showing and some insights into the various interpretations of the title, written by the artists themselves. The postponement of the exhibition by a year has given us more time to prepare
and there have been some interesting developments.
The Space Between
The starting point for the work of two of our artists was the phrase “The SpaceBetween.
Alison’s work is about “the spaces in between” and the patterns they make, especially when viewed through layers of grids. She has been studying the Moire effect or interference patterns and has made a collection of threaded structures. In her recent work she has been photographing structures and distorting shapes by the use of light, water and magnifying glasses to produce wall hung images.
What could be found hidden between two woven pieces of materials? Marie- Ghislaine aim was to create a space featuring many links, made of ribbons of different fabrics, reminiscent of the vertical lines of a contemporary sky-scraper. Because of the suppleness of the fabrics used, the size of the inner space created can be adapted to your mood.
Rosaline Darby’s work explores the way memories are made up of fleeting glimpses, or very clear impressions of brief, often insignificant moments. We piece these together, re-sorting them in our minds over time and embroidering and overlaying them with other memories, to the extent that, upon revisiting a long-remembered place it is often nothing like the image in our minds.
Lynne Butt plays with the concept of the seen and unseen by introducing an imagined narrative into her work.
Lynne’s starting point for SeenUnseen is a photograph that she took of the Shard in London. Its base merges into the surrounding area, and the very top into a blue/grey sky, the middle section stands out clearly against white cloud. The figures in her work are cloaked and hooded – mysterious!! – sometimes disappearing into their background, sometimes standing out.
“The Artist” comes at night wanting to escape the city, he has dreams of medieval knights…..he paints on a rough and crumbling city wall….he is part of the scene he is painting and the city is part of him.
“Mindfulness” is the central focus of Joan’s work, which encompasses meditation through movement. She has researched and explored Taijiquan (Tai Chi) and yoga, although Tai Chi remains the dominant force. Both however draw on their respective ancient beliefs, and are steeped in culture, tradition and spirituality.
The ancient art of Chinese Calligraphy, for example, is at the heart of the discipline of Tai Chi. However, the foundation of Taijiquan is based on ten principles, and these can be applied during execution of the numerous forms, and the 24 movements (short form) is one of the elementary aspects of these, all of which are meant to empty the thoughts and quiet the mind whilst practising the “form” (or choreographed movements). Like Edgar Degas, Joan is attempting to capture the transient movements in the form.
Having begun this work in 2019 with no awareness of the cultural shift in our society that COVID-19 would take, mindfulness has become a cornerstone in society worldwide, the practice of which she cultivates herself and has become a lifeline and a key part of her spiritual journey.
END of Part ONE ……