Fabrics of India

Exhibition at the V&A

Fabrics of Indian site link

A collection of historical and contemporary fabric pieces displaying fibres processes and techniques.

A comprehensive collection of Indian textile history.  Interesting to find cultural importance in fabric, led me to consider my own cultural connections.  What is my history in fabric?  The exhibition triggered ideas of process and techniques.

Want to go and visit again as I didn’t spend enough time there as I got there to late. Shame it’s so far away in London and not enough time in my day.



On analysing this piece I aim to make a connection with my own interests in my practice at this time.”

The Encounter


This object was viewed at the Tate Modern in the Energy and Process area. I enjoy the building; the fact that it was once a power station gives a different weight to the air within it. It has a more user-friendly feel that doesn’t alienate me as with older galleries. This old industrial building allows me to feel at home viewing the artworks within it. It has an air of inclusion.

When I saw the title of the area ‘Energy and Process’ it drew me to it. I have a curious mind. I like knowing how things work how its put together, visible means of construction, something that shows unapologetically how it fits together.

To my eye the artwork took the form of a jellyfish floating in the ocean. The complex organic structure reduced in detail to line and open fields of little detail allowing me to view the lacing together of the cut pieces and trace the tendril lines.

I read more; Nicholas Hlobo chooses his materials carefully. The rubber represents the masculine having phallic meaning; the rubber comes from bicycle inner tubes. The ribbon is representative of femininity. The use of white paper is unexplained my interpretation would be of neutrality, a ‘white out’ zone. The artist’s intention is of gender play, as a homosexual South African his work is a comment on this.

The feminine tendrils knotted laced and chains woven around the male phallus of rubber with hints of domesticity as the description refers to a kitchen sink (Greenburgh. 2010). Jellyfish floating free in an ocean lost in gender battle and domestic sink imagery.


What is the purpose?

“Ikhoko was purchased by the Tate in 2010 the year of its creation. It hangs on public view, which you can view for free and or with donation to upkeep of the museum.


Research Questions

  • Meanings in Materials
  • Framing open fields
  • Simplifying, keeping the essential.



Looking into meanings behind the process gives those who wish to know more a place to go. It moves beyond the decorative and into a more emotive perspective. It allows interpretation and discussion.

In wishing to raise awareness this is something I will need to consider. Meaning not just in the image but also in the materials selected.



Through looking deeper into the meaning the artwork grew in stature, becoming more than paper, ribbon and rubber. In reading more the intentions of the artist was revealed. Another perspective was that fluidity was revealed. And maybe my first instinct was not too far from the truth. In choosing male and female materials and combining them in this way and in using multi-meaning language the reading of the image is still malleable and open to interpretations. Allowing a blurring to occur in this case genders and the lines that form between male and female are broken down and permitted to mix while remain separate.

Acker Bilk

Acker Bilk

“Everybody else seems to worry about what should be on an album – it’s on record for life and all that – but I don’t worry about that. I’m never trying to prove anything and I couldn’t care less about street cred. If I cared about street cred, do you think I would have made an album with Max Bygraves? I do things because they’re fun. A lot of British jazzmen take things too seriously.”

Acker Bilk – Life in Brief

“Nature and Wellbeing Act”

a Green Paper, that is, an initial discussion, of a striking proposal: that the fact that we depend upon the natural world should be recognised in law.

The Paper puts forward a package of measures to restore and protect nature in Britain, on the basis that our economy, our communities, and our personal quality of life are all inextricably linked to it: there should be, it says, a “Nature and Wellbeing Act”.

I would vote for nature if I could

Brain splurge





Obsessed with the words Rhythm, Harmony, Melody.  Pattern Balance Resonate. Still not sure if resonate really fits. Wanted another word that would work instead of melody or sing.  (If something works really well together it sings).

The words came from looking into Mondrian and De Stijl and the phrase that came up was “Balance without symmetry”. Realising I often use this while creating textiles. Wanting to deliver piece that looks great but not too contrived.

Something else that seemed to sit well with this movement was the zooming out of losing detail, revealing a bigger picture. This connected with the ariel photography and environmental issues. We are worrying about small detail when we should be more concerned with the larger environmental picture.  The human populations are reaching maximum capacity by the end of this centuary it will be unsustainable. Things are to change sooner rather than later. Humans have already altered the world in a fraction of the time in which the world has taken to evolve this far.

Balance is essential in all aspects of life, nature will find a way to restore harmony.  I believe for us to remain living on this planet, unlike the dinosaurs, we will need to re-adapt to natural life cycles and consider how we will help the earth.

My small part will be to live as sustainably as I can, raising awareness through what I do, wanting to reconnect people with some old values that comes from a time when people had to be resourceful and reduce, reuse and recycle as a way of life. A time not that long ago but seems almost forgotten now.  The time of make do and mend and a time before the welfare state where people had to manage with what they had.

Make do and mend and its relevance today?

Visible mending


Make do and Mend, Ministry of Information

Science and Nature

Nature and science in harmony.  Love this, sicence is magic even when you know all the science theories behind it, it still produces amazing lines.

Balance without symmetry. Even though the pattern often look geometric there is flaws that break the symmetry.

This reminds me of Quaker belief/theory, Only god is perfect so they add a mistake to their work to ensure it is not perfect. It seems even god says you don’t have to be perfect, just enjoy and don’t try to make sense of everything. There is always room for a little magic. Smile be happy rejoice in all you see and do. 🙂