Sustainable fashion is a hot topic on everyone’s lips these days, as more and more designers are opting for slower, more ethical approaches to their industry. And it’s not just the professionals who are advocating for a more sustainable means of production –consumers are also being encouraged to remain conscious of its environmental impact, with many now choosing to engage in the rising popularity of up-cycling through workshops and craft communities online. One fresh perspective on this shift comes from textiles researcher and knitter Amy Twigger Holroyd, who launches her first solo exhibition UNITS of Possibility: The Reknit Revolution at the Rugby Art Gallery in England later this month.
Known for pushing forward the concept of reknitting with her own process of ‘stitch-hacking’ (where the stitches of a knitted fabric are reconfigured to retrospectively insert a new structural design), Amy developed this practice during her PHD at the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design before finishing in 2013. Through knitting she aims to explore a ‘radical openness’ in the fashion system by tinkering with everything that surrounds her on a day-to-day basis, such as drawing on the structural similarities between some gothic architecture and the craft of crochet.
For her first show, she will be exhibiting new work that includes a large-scale diagram with instructive ‘treatments’ that can be given to garments ripe for reinvention, a film screening exploring the intricacies of the reknitting process, and a new collection of her own ‘cathedral cardigans’; five reknitted cast-offs that play with construction in the most architectural sense. Through this exhibition Amy aims to encourage her viewers and knitters to look again at the discarded garments hanging idly in their wardrobes, to envision a potential new design, and use it.
UNITS of Possibility: The Reknit Revolution, 24 June - 2 September 2017
Rugby Art Gallery and Museum, Little Elborow Street, Rugby, CV21 3BZ