Colour with Keith Recker, Amy Butler Greenfield, Jantiene van Elk from TextielMuseum, Carole Waller and Margo Selby
Hosted on Zoom
Each of our speakers approaches colour from a different perspective and will bring their own personal journey in colour through research into historical dyes and crafts and contemporary use of colour in textile design through the work of Carole Waller and Margo Selby.
List of speakers:
Margo Selby is an artist and designer working with colour and geometric form, in textiles. Alongside her handweaving art practice she oversees her studio’s production of commercial textiles. In 2021 Margo was awarded the prestigious Turner Medal for Britain’s Greatest Colourist, a bi-annual award for art, made by the Colour Group (GB). In 2020 Margo won the Collect Open Award of the Crafts Council UK. She has taught and mentored at art schools including Central St Martins, the Royal College of Art, Goldsmiths and West Dean College.
Description of talk:
Margo Selby is an internationally renowned woven textile designer. Her design philosophy is focused on pushing the boundaries of weaving to create contemporary stylish fabrics for a range of textile applications. Alongside her commercial textile design business Margo also creates distinctive handwoven artworks, which unite a modernist aesthetic with traditional weaving techniques. In her talk Margo will talk about relationship with colour, her inspirations and the crossovers between her work as an artist, craftsperson and designer.
Carole Waller is a painter who has worked on ‘unprimed’ canvases of silk and cotton for 30 years to make wearable paintings. She studied painting in the UK and then Fine Art Textiles at Cranbrook Academy of Art near Detroit. Her clothes and hangings can be found in the Victoria and Albert Museum Textile Collection and in numerous books. She has exhibited internationally for many years – and sold at Liberty in London, Harvey Nichols and many small galleries and shops in America.
She lives and works near Bath in the UK in a small studio surrounded by trees.
Writer, editor and trend and colour forecaster, Keith Recker’s almost 20-year client list includes global influencers Pantone, WGSN, Stylus, Color Association of the United States. He brings 35 years of adventurous, insightful, multicultural experience in media content creation, marketing and licensing, merchandising, and global artisan business development.
His current projects include editor in Chief and Co-Owner of TABLE Magazine, an independent magazine, exploring the culture of food and drink through travel, interior design, fashion and jewellery. He is the author of three books on colour. Deep Color: The Shades That Shape Our Souls, traces colour in the ways it communicates both ancient meanings and modern stories, will debut in August 2022 from Schiffer Publications. The revised second edition of his book, True Colors: World Masters of Natural Dyes and Pigments (Thrums Books) was released in September 2020, with chapters excerpted in Selvedge Magazine, NY Textile Month Journal, and reviewed in many more, including Metropolis. Recker is also co-author of PANTONE: The Twentieth Century in Color (Chronicle, 2012). Recker’s writing has also been published by the Studio Museum of Harlem, Museum of Art and Design, Brooklyn Rail, The Santa Fe New Mexican, to name a few.
Description of talk:
Keith Recker will give a short presentation on his extensive research into the history and symbolism of colour in advance of his latest book’s publication in late Summer 2022. He will talk about the black of the time before time, the prehistoric reds of fertility and passion, the royal purples of the Classical era, virtuous blues of the Middle Ages, the powerful blacks of the Renaissance and Reformation eras, discriminatory yellows, protest pinks, Green Party greens, and much more.
Amy Butler Greenfield
Amy Butler Greenfield writes acclaimed books about history, art, science, and spies. Her history of the red dye cochineal, A Perfect Red: Empire, Espionage, and the Quest for the Color of Desire, won the PEN/Albrand Award for First Nonfiction and the French Prix du Livre Environnement. An enthusiastic speaker, she has appeared on television and radio, and she has given popular talks at the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery, Harvard University's Sackler Museum, the Los Angeles Public Library, and the International Spy Museum, among other venues. Born in the United States, she studied Modern History at Oxford, and she now lives with her family in England.
Description of talk:
Tracing the history of colour is an adventure. In this talk, Amy will share highlights from her research into the history of cochineal while writing A Perfect Red, when Amy delved into the ships’ records of the Spanish fleet, visited a cochineal ranch in Oaxaca, and took over a lab for a hands-on recreation of a 17th-century alchemist’s discoveries.
Jantiene van Elk from TextielMuseum
Jantiene van Elk is librarian at the TextielMuseum (Tilburg, the Netherlands). She’s responsible for more than 20.000 books, an extensive collection of manuscripts and sample books, journals and magazines and a documentation collection on textile art, - design, - technique and industrial culture. She regularly publishes about the library collection, especially on the history and use of sample books.
Description of talk:
The TextielMuseum’s library holds a collection of manuscripts with dye recipes. This lecture tells the hidden stories of these dye recipe notebooks.
The original, hand written recipes were used in the textile industry, mainly in nineteenth century Tilburg. From the notebooks we can learn how Tilburg was connected to the world. Dyestuffs came from all over the world – often from European colonies. Take cochineal from Mexico, lichens from the Canary Islands, dye woods from Latin-America and indigo from the South of the United States of America, Indonesia and Surinam. Secondly, the dye recipes show us how you can learn by doing. When using the recipes again, a lot of implicit knowledge is missing. Can we recreate the dyes and use the recipes again to create beautiful coloured woollen textiles? Lastly, the notebooks tell us about the dye workshops and the people who worked there.
In a citizen science project, the museum library is researching these dye notebooks. Citizen science is scientific research with volunteers together with or under supervision of scientists. The stories from library collections are often only known to the individual visitors. This project brings these stories to a wider audience.
The project is part of the activities for the public for an exhibition To Dye For. The exhibition lets visitors delve into the origins of and stories behind the dyes in our textiles. You can explore the dyeing process and experience the beauty and dilemmas of colour in textiles. The results of the citizen science project will be part of the exhibition.
All recordings of online talks are non-refundable.