This weekend sees a series of launch events for the National Centre for Craft and Design’s new exhibitions of textile art in Sleaford.
The NCCD presents Ctrl / Shift: New Directions in Textile Art, in partnership with The 62 Group of Textile Artists and Midlands Arts Centre, Birmingham.
This unique textile exhibition sees artists demonstrating the creative tensions that exist between accomplished skill, experimentation and the development of new ideas.
From February 2 until April 22, Ctrl/Shift takes shifts and changes as its theme with artists exploring this concept in a variety of ways.
Shifts may have been experienced in the approach to practice and production in relation to control; the introduction of new materials and techniques; and/or the impact of innovative ideas and evolving technologies.
Pushing the boundaries of scale at both ends of the spectrum, works range from metres long to a few centimetres high; they are wall-hung, floor and plinth based, two and three dimensional.
Traditional textile and fibre techniques of hand and machine embroidery, felting, printing, collage and basketry are seen alongside the latest technology, such as digital print and laser cutting.
Other works are mixed media in approach, incorporating hair, cosmetics, scrap metal and dolls’ house furniture, ceramics, metal, stone, wood, plastic and Perspex.
Overall, there is a call to view textile art as much more than careful stitching on fine fabrics.
, including carefully selected collaborations between three artists who reflected on and were inspired by each other’s practice. The artists are (UK unless otherwise noted): Imogen Aust, Caroline Bartlett, Heather Belcher, Eszter Bornemisza (Hungary), Lucy Brown, Penny Burnfield, Nigel Cheney, Daisy Collingridge, Isobel Currie, Flox den Hartog Jager (Netherlands), Catherine Dormor, Dawn Dupree, Caren Garfen, Emily Jo Gibbs, Ann Goddard, Joanna Kinnersly-Taylor, Hannah Lamb, Debbie Lyddon, Jae Maries, Sian Martin, Jane McKeating, Sumi Perera, Shuna Rendel, Vanessa Rolf and Sue Stone.
To complement this major textile show, an exhibition by Jilly Edwards: Glimpses and Memories can be seen in the Roof Galler from January 19 to March 17.
Edwards’ tapestries use combinations of cotton, wool and linen yarns and she is known for her upbeat use of yellow. The tapestries presented are inspired by glimpses and memories of journeys from Exeter to Edinburgh and to East Anglia, through diverse terrain and especially the colours of oilseed rape.
There will also be another opportunity to see Woolly Spires from February 2 until April 22 - a county wide project that took inspiration from the many Lincolnshire churches that were funded by wealthy landowners who made their fortune, literally, on the backs of the county’s iconic breed of sheep, the Lincoln Long Wool. A number of the county’s major churches are represented in 3D by knitting.
The official, invitation-only opening viewing is being held on Friday (February 1) at the NCCD. Then on Saturday there is an artist ‘Walk and Talk’ from 11am–12noon when Jilly Edwards introduces Glimpses and Memories.
The Big Community Weave will be held on Saturday too from 11am to 2pm when visitors can collaborate on a woven artwork.
There will aoso be a Curator and Artist Walk and Talk around the show from 1.30-2.30pm to give a detailed insight into Ctrl/Shift.
There will also be a live demonstration from 10am to 1pm during the day when Nigel Cheney will be carrying out the fine art of embroidery.
On Sunday there will be a ‘Meet the Curator’ session with Liz Cooper of Ctrl/Shift from 11am–12noon.
You can have a go at Tension Weaving - giant weaving using your body for tension - on Sunday from 1–3pm.
Both days visitors can enjoy Sit and Stitch, when you can expereinec simple techniques with Sleaford Embroiderers from 12-3pm.