Jo Fraser


Although the portrait artist Jo Fraser has always been interested in textiles, it was a small photograph of a group of Peruvian weavers that set her on track to formally explore her relationship with textiles through paint. “In that photograph, I saw women who I felt were relating to and crafting textiles in the same way and with the same symbolic gravitas as I understood myself.” Though professional success has come to Fraser as a painter she is a prolific maker and a range of materials influence her creative process, “textiles are the instruments with which I obsessively work and play.” revver About a year after she first saw that photograph, Fraser exhibited in the National Portrait Gallery’s 2011 BP portraiture prize and subsequently applied for the BP travel award. Fraser pitched to leave her North London studio and live in a remote, impoverished Peruvian weaving community, alone, with no translator – for a month. Although apparently “nervous and excited in equal measure,” they went for it and with the help of Awamaki Fraser’s plan became a dream adventure. ewfefe3 Whilst there Fraser would spend every day with the women of the community, mindfully watching them weave from a distance. The results of her project are, as well as touching and tactile, a beautiful meditation on shared yet remote community values and rituals. This is an extract from the Carnival issue of Selvedge. ffrewfew

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