Issue 21 Responsibility
OUR 21ST ISSUE IS THE PERFECT TIME to pause and take stock of what Selvedge has tried to achieve and our goals for the future. As Peter Parker AKA Spiderman discovered “with great power comes great responsibility” and while we are certainly not claiming to have superpowers we are, we hope, at the centre of a growing web of textile appreciation. At its core the mission of the magazine is to promote all forms of textiles to a wide audience. It is a long time since I had my textile “epiphany”. In the Mackintosh Library 20 years ago I remember seeing the sculptural work of the fibre arts movement from the 70s in an American magazine. I had never seen anything like it. Like Columbus discovering the world was round I suddenly perceived that thread – textiles – are intrinsically three dimensional. The impact on my creative practice was immediate and evolved into a life long questioning of the nature of textiles. I know there is a connection between that moment in the library and the moment the first copy of Selvedge rolled off the presses. In this issue we celebrate the work of others who have promoted textiles in different ways. Muriel Rose, Lloyd Cotsen, Alexander Girard, Lord and Lady McAlpine,all support textile makers by collecting or promoting their work. It is our responsibility to present the work we collect fairly and justly. Quilt expert Shelly Zergart questions whether those studying African American quilts over the last 30 years have produced useful scholarship or damaging stereotypes. We also revisit the work of designers engaging with an ethical agenda. The textile industry in China is often written about in derogatory terms and often rightly so, but it’s good to be able to highlight a Chinese designer Ma Ke, whose stunning work has been used by award winning film maker Jia Zhang Ke as an example of integrity. She is currently preparing for the China Design Now,exhibition at the V&A. Finally I would like to thank all the readers, writers, illustrators and photographers who have been my companions on this remarkable journey but most of all the dedicated team who tirelessly put each issue together. Here’s to the next 21 issues!
Polly Leonard, Founder