Committed to Cloth is a partnership formed by Leslie Morgan & Claire Benn. Their primary goal is to keep making good work of their own; being in partnership ensures that they don’t work in isolation as nagging, encouragement and feedback is vital to the creative process! At the same time, they want to communicate and dialogue with others who share their passion for cloth. As such, they hope to help people explore and discover the potential of cloth and work to raise the profile of textile art – and its teaching – in the UK and ideally, Europe.
Claire and Leslie’s skill base and experience spans wet work (dyeing, screen printing etc.), dry work (construction, quilts, textile art, stitch etc.) and personal development (design, imagery, feedback). They have given this Munich exhibition a focus on quilts, with stitched textiles and art cloth adding an extra dimension. The pieces are drawn from both established and emerging artists who are creating pieces that push at new boundaries and explore new paths;
Most of the exhibiting artists will work to commission and/or have other pieces for sale in addition to what you see here at this exhibition. If there is a piece that you’d love to own, but are hesitating about investing a sum of money in a single amount, many artists are happy to accept a spread payment of six post-dated cheques, with the work being delivered on receipt of the final payment. Please feel encouraged to discuss your needs with Christine at Quilt Et Textilkunst and/or Committed to Cloth.
2004 was a brilliant but exhausting year for Committed to Cloth. On top of their usual teaching schedule, the annual Summer School saw workshops from Jane Dunnewold, June Barnes and their own ‘Cloth Expression’. They set up and managed the Virtual Studio at The Festival of Quilts and curated the Complex Cloth exhibition with Jane Dunnewold at the same venue. They exhibited at the Knitting & Stitching Show in Alexander Palace (London) and Harrogate and hung their usual, annual exhibition at Chequer Mead Arts Centre in East Grinstead. The 2005 Summer School schedule sees workshops from Joan Schulze, Charlotte Yde, Els van Baarle and Claire, and Nancy Crow will be teaching in Autumn 2006.
Many thanks to you, the visitor for taking the time to visit this exhibition – we hope you enjoyed it!
Maggie is a quilt maker with a passion for colour. She has recently completed a series based on the colours of orchids, working in hand-dyed silks and velvets. Maggie strives to create a three-dimensional quality to her work, highlighting detail with machine quilting.
Artist? Textile artist? The label itself doesn’t mean much to Claire – she’s simply committed to cloth. Claire uses multiple wet processes to achieve cloth with colour, imagery, texture and depth and if the piece calls for it, she follows up with stitch. She approaches her work from two angles; internally conceived, planned, conceptual themes and process-driven experiments with the cloth, tools and the media.
Landscape is where she lives, what she looks at, what she draws and what she stitches. Elizabeth is fascinated by marks left by planting, harvesting and ploughing. She looks for qualities in her drawings to bring to her textiles, and works with cloth for its tactile character, its intimacy and its substance.
Christine is a textile artist and teacher who draws inspiration from the craftsmanship and architecture of previous ages, and how buildings store and record memories from previous eras and events as they age; something of the emotions of the people who lived in or used the buildings is revealed.
Having taught for 10 years at the Southwest School of Art, Jane stopped teaching to devote all of her time to further the concept of Art Cloth, and make more cloth and artwork of her own. She’s long been intrigued by the notion that cloth can be approached as an object or artwork, and developed Complex Cloth as a result of a 4am brainstorm. Her book, ‘Complex Cloth’ is viewed as a definitive work and she has recently published ‘Improvisational Screen Printing’. Jane is convinced that work, regardless of the medium, is more charged with excitement if the artist has conviction; caring about the work and what is being made is of vital importance.
Rosie is a textile and mixed media artist working in two and thee dimensional forms. Her work explores the ordinary aspects of daily life but includes pieces reflecting her environmental and political concerns.
Sandra rarely designs a quilt on paper, preferring to work improvisationally and letting the work on the design wall dictate what comes next. She enjoys different quilt making techniques and will often combine them in a single piece of work. Hand dyeing and printing her own cloth has recently taken on more importance for Sandra and she hopes to use more of her personal fabric in her artwork in the future.
Quilting indulges Claire’s passions for design and sewing and offers her a custom made peg on which to hang her creative hat! Her work is contemporary, generally uses hand-dyed fabrics and often features strong graphic shapes and dense quilting.
Fragments and layers mark the passing of time, the rituals of making (cutting paper, gathering materials, machining) acting as part of the narrative of the work and its transformation. Cas works between two disciplines; painting and mixed media textiles. The stitched mark becomes a line of drawing, dye becomes her paint.
Laura’s work is often inspired by a sense of time and place. Much of the imagery is taken from the landscape that surrounds her home, although Fine Art painting and sculpture is a second but equally important influence. Laura is continually attracted to the tactile nature of cloth and often heavily stitches surfaces that she has previously dyed, painted and printed. Drawing is a vital part of the process, both in the initial concept and the realisation of the piece. Her current work aims to further emphasis the direct connection between her sketchbooks and quilts. Questioning the conventional format of the quilt is a dominant characteristic of her work and the use of hidden light sources, free-standing support structures and canvas will continue to be explored.
Linda is a textile artist who focuses on the exploration of cloth and stitch as an art form. Working primarily in silks, she uses a variety of processes such as screen printing, dye painting, machine and hand stitch to achieve the desired effects. Linda draws on life experiences and her deep affinity with bird life as her inspiration and uses the cloth as an outward expression of her hopes, fears and dreams.
Leslie has always thought of herself as an embroiderer who makes quilts. The design process begins with dye, colour and accidental discovery – making fabrics and responding to them. Leslie’s quilts develop from working spontaneously and directly with these fabrics, exploiting random happenings in the course of construction. She prefers to work on several series at a time, following personal themes which frequently intermingle. Personal expression prompts the way she dyes and layers her cloth which will dictate the next step in the series.
Ingrid is fascinated by pattern and texture, and quilt making offers the perfect environment to experiment in these areas. The repeat patterns of the block or strip achieve the clarity and calm she seeks to represent in her pieces. The texture of close machine quilting results in the tactile quality Ingrid loves.
Sarah has been stitching for as long as she can remember. Two years ago she started a journey to try and find the perfect way to express herself using the stitched form. The road is both tortuous and enjoyable…
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