Image: Marianne Berenhaut, Rangement ordinaire, Deux chaises en bois, tissus pliés (2013). Photo: Ludovic Jaunatre et Nicolas Leroy. Courtesy the artist and Dvir Gallery, Tel Aviv / Brussels
As an art form, textiles should no longer be seen as a finished product, but rather as a multi-directional thought process. To quote the anthropologist Tim Ingold: "Knots are always in the midst of things, while their ends are on the loose, rooting for other lines to tangle with". In other words, the language of textiles is “a living thing” rather than simply a form or material. The artist or craftsman is constantly on the move and his or her preoccupation is not the necessity of predetermination […] but a necessity born out of commitment and attention to materials and to the ways they want to go", as Ingold explains.
The design of “textile things” rather than “textile objects” as Tim Ingold sees it, best describes the work of current designers for whom the finished work is the combined result of contingencies and forces, rather than an object which stands before us as an accomplishment — occupied rather than inhabited.
Image: Bedrossian Servaes, Fenêtre Villa Radet (2020). Tissage, feutrage. Laine, mohair.
BeCraft, in partnership with the City of Mons and with the Drapiers, Contemporary Art Center at Liège, is holding an unprecedented major exhibition on textile art in Belgium: Textilités. The curator, Denise Biernaux, the founder and director of the Drapiers which specialises in contemporary art and textiles, will present the works from a contemporary and specialist angle.
Image: Daniel Henry, Grand velum (2021). Enduction, métallisation, manipulation. Velours soie/viscose. Photo : J. Poezevara
The works will be selected from artists living in Belgium for whom textiles are a driving force, and where their vital creative energy is as important as the finished form. The works exhibited will embody the symbolic, cultural and aesthetic values of their creators, as much artists as artisans.
The exhibition aims to encourage exploration of the concept, the meaning and the pertinence of textiles, the relationship between materials and forces — and to ultimately celebrate the idea of “textility”.