Celebrating material and making, these artists use the storytelling power of textiles to connect with past traditions, find commonalities between cultures, time and place, and to ‘breathe stories into materials’.
Image:Anya Paintsil, God will punish him (2021) Photograph courtesy of the artist and Ed Cross Gallery. Image above: Viento 2, 2014 by Olga de Amaral. © Olga de Amaral; Courtesy Lisson Gallery. Photography by Theo Christelis.
Threads encompasses processes of weaving and spinning, rug-making, stitching and embroidery, print, knit, threading, mending and found materials, with materials and techniques handed down, reused and reinvented.
Co-curated by leading textile artist Alice Kettle, Threads weaves throughout Arnolfini’s three floors, to reveal how textiles remember, how memory is embedded within the process of making and how new narratives are created.
Image: Anna Perach and Anousha Payne, Backward Eyes, 2021. Benjamin Deakin Photography, courtesy of Cooklatham Gallery.
Reflecting a range of experiences, materials, processes and artistic impulse, exhibiting artists are: Caroline Achaintre, Mounira Al Solh, Ifeoma U. Anyaeji, Olga de Amaral, Will Cruickshank, Monika Žaltauskaitė-Grašienė, Lubaina Himid, Young In Hong, Raisa Kabir, Alice Kettle, Anya Paintsil, Anousha Payne, David Penny, Anna Perach, Celia Pym, Richard McVetis, Ibrahim Mahama, Farwa Moledina, Lucy Orta, Yinka Shonibare and Esna Su.
Artists explore narratives of movement and exchange, environmental concerns, sustainability, labour, trade, migration, post-colonial narratives, identity, gender, politics, community building and place making, reflecting our histories in a current context.
Image: Celia Pym, Hope’s Sweater, 1951 2011. © Courtesy of the artist. Photograph by Michele Panzeri.
Through these acts of making, each artist engages with the idea of how we remember, asking us to question where, and how, and with what the work has been created. Threads are unravelled as new stories become intertwined, and audiences are invited to engage with their own memories through material and making.
Threads: breathing stories into materials opens on 8 July - 1 October 2023. More details can be found on their website: arnolfini.org.uk/whatson/threads