In transition

CityLit gallery, February/March 2020

A month long exhibition showcasing the work of textiles2020 and selected other makers in a brand new gallery space in Covent Garden.

Work included a wide range of textile practice being explored by this group of artists, with exquisite embroidery and machine stitch, thought-provoking narrative, personal stories, fairy tales and fantasy alongside abstract work that pushed traditional fabric manipulation and dyeing techniques to their extremes.

We would love to hear what you think – send us your comments at the bottom of the page.

Kate Beale: Silk organza 3D form

Shibori dyed silk organza

Having long used Shibori dyeing techniques in her practice, Kate has discovered the wonderfully structural potential of silk organza using these techniques. By folding, clamping and densely pleating the organza, then dyeing it in successive dye baths, she explores the potential effects achieved through the layering of colours, and of creating 3D forms.

Rachel Gillard-Jones: Austerity or Opulence

Hand stitching on cotton, silk, linen and silk or recycled clothing

Rachel uses form with stitch, embellishment and fabric manipulation to explore the themes of contrast and constraint. For this piece Austerity or Opulence, Rachel was interested in researching and practising traditional sewing techniques; and using materials appropriate to these concepts.

Nina Gross: Missing (work in progress)

Hand embroidered and dyed silk organza, enamel

This piece explores the shifting nature of memory, with each cloth depicting a day that Nina’s sister was missing. Layering is an important process – providing a conceptual language for representing hiding, covering, eroding, repressing and revealing. Memories can feel concrete and fixed but at other times remote and intangible.

Karina Haake: Childwood I

Hand embroidery and embellishment on velvet

‘Childwood’ seeks to explore the darkness of fairytale and dream, in which the night creatures and daemons of the imagination roam.

Kathryn Hollingsworth: Organic forms

Dyed muslin faux chenille

With a background as a basket maker Kathryn is interested in creating three dimensional organic forms and vessels by manipulating fabric with stitch. In these samples Kathryn is exploring a technique called faux chenille, which is made with layers of fabric stitched and cut on the bias to create a tufted texture.

Ceridwen Sooke: A Personal Journey

Mixed media 3D form

Ceridwen’s work explores close up details of plants in the landscape in order to create new forms. The work is based on her drawings and paintings. Her interest lies in constructing forms that come from the transformation of fragile materials into stronger ones using a variety of techniques and playing with contrasts of light and dark tones and unnatural high colour.

Annika Strandberg: Scavengers

Hand embroidery on cotton linen

A piece based on a slice of bread. Looking at everyday objects in a different perspective and giving them a new life with their own stories and symbolic meaning, Annika uses traditional techniques allowing the work and the narrative to develop organically.

Gill Swanson: Untitled

Embellishing and free machine embroidery on dissolvable fabric

Inspired by nature, much of Gill’s work has an organic style. Fascinated by the curative qualities of plants, flowers and their fruits, Gill seeks to reflect their energy and vibrancy by combining strong, bold colours and textures. She enjoys working in an intuitive way, changing direction when reaching unexpected outcomes.

Patti Taylor: Spurn

Mixed media book

This book reflects the centuries of impact natural forces have brought to bear on the Humberside coastline at Spurn Head. Generations of families eked a harsh existence from often short-lived economically viable activities, each dependent on the sea and each ultimately destroyed by it, leaving redundant ruins and heartrending narratives.

Veronica Thornton: Coastal Erosion

Stitched and embellished collage of dyed recycled cotton, bandages and scrim

With a longstanding interest in maps and aerial photography Veronica is investigating the erosion of different parts of the coast in East Anglia. Recent years have seen dramatic changes on this vulnerable coastline as water levels continue to rise both nationally and around the world.

Yvonne Watts:

Dyed and stitched linen and organza

Yvonne is interested in landscape, trees and plants. This piece has a background printed with polychromatic dye, with additional layers of organza and stitch. It is attempting to create the natural chaos of foliage. Playful colours are used to explore the boundaries between real and imagined.

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