I am excited to announce the launch of a series of Selvedge Evenings. These evenings will be hosted by The Art Workers' Guild in Bloomsbury. The speakers at each event will be chosen to complement the theme and ideas explored in the current issue of the magazine. Please note tickets are limited, but the evening will be videoed and available on the website in the following weeks. During the first of our Evenings, TextTile Messaging: The Politics of Cloth, we will hear a presentation from Dr Annabella Pollen on The Kindred of The Kibbo Kift, Alke Schmidt on Tales from the Textile Industry, and Ed Hall on Trade Union Banners. It promises to be a great evening.
Dr Annabella Pollen is Principal Lecturer and Academic Programme Leader in History of Art and Design at the University of Brighton. She is the author of The Kindred of the Kibbo Kift: Intellectual Barbarians (2015) and the co-curator of the accompanying exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery. The Kindred of the Kibbo Kift was founded in 1920 as a pacifist alternative to the Boy Scouts. For around a decade this ‘brotherhood of the strong’ welcomed all ages and both sexes and aimed for nothing less than world peace, to be achieved through an idiosyncratic blend of camping, hiking and handicrafts.
Alke Schmidt's work combines beautiful form with the thought-provoking subject matter. Painting is often intertwined with the decorative patterns of found fabrics, stitch or print, selected for their historical, cultural or symbolic associations. Fusing the roles of the artist as a maker and critical citizen, Alke uses the visually seductive qualities of her works to challenge contemporary social and environmental injustices. Her work also puts those issues in historical context, reflecting Alke's belief that we must engage with the past to understand - and improve - the world today.
Ed Hall has been making trade union campaign and exhibition banners for 30 years. They are handmade, stitched, appliqued and often with painted scenes as centrepieces. He has worked for Stop the War, The Palestine Solidarity Campaign, CND, the Anti Nazi League, Unite against Fascism and for the families and friends of those who have died in police custody. He has also decorated Nelson's column for Trafalgar Square rallies.