Hospitality Re-Viewed

Re-View Textile is a contemporary artists network based in the North West. The members were invited to create works in response to the theme Hospitality for the Liverpool Independents Biennial in 2012. I collaborated with artists Sue Beck and Diana Heredia on three works which were exhibited at the Baltic Creative in Liverpool during the festival.

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Keep it Clean, Make it Safe

Hospitality and domesticity, domesticity and the home. Domestic textiles have not historically been recognised as a male pursuit. I work as a facilitator. I am the host. I work with vulnerable individuals and establish creative environments. I am responsible for enhancing individual’s wellbeing. Individuals can present themselves in a certain light whilst the reality can be different. I listen to the things people say and interpret what they mean.

I created an apron and embellished the surface with hand stitch. As the piece evolved the white work and consecutive French knots began to resemble the characters from the Braille alphabet. Seen and unseen, the stitches are visible yet conceal a hidden message.

Between the Sheets

I inherited a huge round white cushion which resided in the centre of my studio floor. Despite its presence it remained anonymous to me. A poem composed by the artist accompanied the object and offered an insight into its identity. The text recalled childhood memories and described an intimate space which offered comfort and reassurance. The re-appropriation of bed linen inherited from childhood was symbolic and the object became the embodiment of precious memories.

I produced a quilt, a comfort blanket to envelop and protect this sacred object. Intimate words were transcribed through stitch over the surface. They spiral in repetition as though experienced in a dream.

Bouncing Exchanges

I inherited a puzzle. A box containing four felt pods joined together with yarn. In transit the work had become tangled. I became a mediator, attempting to resolve the situation and separate the different components. This experience spoke of the challenges of collaborating. The potential crossed lines, confusion, misinterpretation and frustration associated with the exchange of creative ideas.

I began to stitch. Stitching the felt was painful, enduring and repetitive. As the stitches grew across the surface they began to resemble sutures. They signified mending, healing my earlier fraught relationship with the work.

In conclusion the work reflects the hard work of the contributing artists and the physical embodiment of our ideas. It represents commitment and unity not fragmentation or disharmony.