DIS/rupt Workshops and Exhibition

Stroud International Textiles (SIT select) was established in 2005 and aims to celebrate contemporary textiles and broaden the perspective of textile arts and crafts. Events are run all year round and an annual festival is held every May with exhibitions, talks, workshops and open studios.
This year the Textile Study Group launched their new exhibition “DIS/rupt” with work from over 20 artists including Dorothy Tucker, Gwen Hedley, Julia Triston, Sian Martin, Ruth Issett and Alice Fox. The exhibition is being shown in 2 venues – The Museum in the Park, Stroud and Lansdown Hall Gallery, Stroud – plus there was a programme of linked workshops and events.
The theme of “DIS/rupt”  is – as you have probably gathered – about disruption. Disruption is something that affects everyone on many different levels – personal, political, local and global scales (see textilestudygroup.wordpress.com for more information). Each artist involved took the theme and looked at disruption in different ways – for example, Julia Triston involved raw emotion of her feelings following the breakdown of her marriage; Ruth  Issett looked at extreme variations in weather patterns creating disruption and unpredictable consequences; Jan Miller looked at the disruption created by tidal surges and flooding and Dorothy Tucker looked at disruption caused by war, political conflicts and famine. The theme was also chosen as a way for the artists to challenge themselves, to disrupt their regular way of working.
The exhibition is on till May 28th. Well worth visiting if you can!
Photos couldn’t be taken inside the galleries but I was able to take a couple of photos of work that was hung outside one of the galleries as part of Ruth Issett’s work:
So, why am I discussing all this? Well there were several half-day workshops run by various members of T.S.G and I signed up for 2 of them – seemed rude not to as I live so close by! 😀
The first workshop was with Ruth Issett. Having recently run and attended a 2 day workshop with Ruth, I was keen to attend another of her workshops. Ruth is such a good teacher and gives so much to the students she is teaching, you really do come away feeling full to the brim of information and ideas!
The title of the workshop was “Disrupting Repetitive Pattern”. We looked at how to approach printing fabric from a  different angle by using printing and mono-printing to print patterns, to disrupt and interrupt pattern or adding discordant elements, altering colour schemes and creating the unexpected. Sounds complicated but actually, the techniques used are very easy, it’s the way you think about ‘disrupting the repetitive’ that can be challenging.  The class was just 2 1/2 hrs so time was short and the focus was on learning ideas about how to disrupt pattern that we could take home and play with those ideas at home. So we used techniques such as folding & refolding and masking (see I said simple!) and created samples on calico and organdy fabric.
Near the end of the session,  Ruth gave us some samples of her work. Each sample had a small square of freezer paper covering a section of the fabric. She asked us to overprint the fabric in anyway we liked. Once the paint was dry, we could remove the freezer paper and see the original design below.
The second workshop was with Julia Tristan and was about using “Text in Textiles”, looking at different ways of using text in our work. Because we only had 2 1/2 hours, there was limit to how much we could get done plus no sewing machines so all techniques were done by hand including layering, collaging, applique and embroidery.
Julia started off by telling us about her work, how she found the theme and how she used text to create emotion and feeling. She then discussed different ways that text can be incorporated. We each chose a word –  a word that had some personal meaning. I chose to use a word that relates to me personally and also to a current theme I’m working on (more on this in a future post) and I played about with ways I could use a simple word and simple techniques to get a message across.
My word was “invisible”  —   inVISIBLE  – make the “visible” VISIBLE and the “in” invisible.
 All in, I had a great day – met up with a good friend, did 2 great workshops, saw some interesting work and came away with lots of inspiration.