Let There Be Light

In the final instalment of our week exploring light and textiles on the blog, Lesley Millar explores the work of Tamar Frank; an artist using thread and light to reinterpret the ways we navigate public space...

Space surrounds us. We move through it and we portion it off with structures delineating boundaries and thresholds. Terence Riley, in Light Construction, writes of the wall as an interposed veil where those outside are distanced from the space within, and those inside distanced from the world outside. Textile structures too can contribute to how we divide and negotiate space. Tamar Frank is one artist working with light and thread to describe the contours of space, both surrounding and occupying it, allowing for passage and permeability.

Frank specialises in light works, specifically in relation to architecture. In many of her light installations it is the line of light that is the central feature, as she maintains; ‘you always want to follow a line because the line gives direction.’ And so working with thread is a natural extension of her preoccupation with line. For her, the thread is a line in space stretching out like a line of light, dividing the space and continuing, in our mind’s eye, beyond the borders.

As she says, ‘the threads can go on forever, holding space.’ After experimentation with various types of material she has settled on phosphorescent threads for her installations, that she describes as appealing to ‘our visual perception when defining space and how we use lines and borders to guide us in our physical orientation.’

As creator of these works, Frank has two distinct roles. In one role she is the exacting architect / mechanic / electronic engineer who cannot deviate one centimetre from the plan or the installation will fail. In her other role she is the visionary artist who sees the relationship between the work, the space, and the viewer as a mystical, almost spiritual experience…

You can read this article in full in Selvedge issue 43.

To explore more about artists who work with light and textiles, you can read all about the work of Astrid Krogh in the new issue of Selvedge.

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