Monday, 9 September 2013

Out & About: Cloth & Memory {2}

Yoriko Yoneyama, Rice Dreams 2013 Salts Mill (detail)
Cloth and Memory 2 is the latest textile art exhibition curated by Lesley Millar.
The show is amazing, using the attic space of an old textile mill to display the work, much of which has been inspired by the building and the memories wrapped in it. The building itself is astounding. Salt Mills was one of the numerous textile mills in Bradford. The lower floors have been converted into post industrial gallery space, with a permanent collection of David Hockney's work, a wonderful independent bookshop, cafes etc.  You can clearly see the vastness of the space and its connections to the past.
Diana Harrison, Handkerchiefs

Calling the gallery Cloth and Memory is displayed in the "attic" is a bit of a misnomer, as I think of attics as small, restricted places. This is vast area, which was the spinning room of the mill and hasn't been as updated as the rest of the building, giving more of a sense of connection to its past.
Yoriko Murayama, And Then
The actual work was very thought provoking, linking the ideas of memory to space to textiles. My favourite pieces were made by Yoriko Murayama, who used old and new photographs of building and wove these into strips of cloth and paper which spiral in cones in the centre of the space.  The images due to the weaving technique used have become fuzzy, giving the sense of the indistinctness of memory and of time passing.
Yoriko Murayama, And Then (detail)
Yoriko Murayama, And Then (detail)

I also really appreciated Rachel Gray’s small strip pieces, which melted in beautifully with the walls using layers which revealed and hid details.

Rachel Gray Shadow Pieces

Rachel Gray Shadow Pieces (detail)

If there was an additional theme amongst the work, it was the sober, austere nature of the palette used by the artists.  Very few used bright colour at all and so the red thread used by Katharina Hinsberg looked all the more startling and the kimono strips and mirrors used by Machiko Agano seemed positively garish.  I suppose the lack of colour fits well with the concepts of memory involved: time washing away the details. 
Caroline Bartlett, Stilled
Caroline Bartlett, Stilled (detail)

You can discover more about the exhibition at and more about Salt Mills at  There is also a beautiful catalogue to accompany the show, which is well worth getting and I could have spent all day in the wonderful bookshop. If you get the chance, I would strongly recommend going to see this exhibition.
Salts Mill bookshop

Some of the wonderful cook books at Salts Mill bookshop

1 comment:

Margaret said...

Oh how I wish I could see that exhibit! The combination of old space, textiles, story and history...and a touch of mystery...irresistible! And what an inspired use of that structure, too...

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