Rosita Bonita (Margate, Kent); Ann Catrin Evans (Caernarfon); Tilla Waters (Carmarthenshire); Anne Morgan (Cardiff); Annabet Wyndham (Brighton); Lina Peterson (London); Sarah Lindsay (London).

Loose Threads: Glimpse

Silk, cotton and Lurex cast in acrylic resin

 

“Laura Thomas is an award winning woven textile artist and designer specializing in producing striking textile artworks for contemporary spaces.  Laura’s breadth of practice and multi-faceted approach has made her somewhat unusual in the woven textiles sphere.  Whether it be site-specific art, exhibition work or interior textile design, underpinning all of Laura’s work is an inherent practical curiosity to exploit weave principles, celebrate the beauty of yarns and create striking aesthetics for this ancient craft.

Laura is particularly well known for her ‘Resonate’ body of work, whereby delicate textile constructions are cast in acrylic resin resulting in a surprising juxtaposition between the hard edged acrylic and loose threads or openly woven cloth.

The new artworks created for ‘A Darker Thread’, were made in response to the current political climate.  The ‘Loose Threads’ sculptures aim to capture the unwoven warp threads stretched taut on a loom – an analogy for time standing still and a fleeting glimpse at what the future might hold.  Each one of the three sculptures offer a narrow flash of red, blue or yellow threads through black silk and cotton yarns; the essential primary colours not entirely obscured by darkness.”

 

Born and brought up in Pembrokeshire, Laura Thomas studied woven textiles in the University of Central England, The Royal College of Art, and then on to become one of the founding Fellows of The Ann Sutton Foundation, a weave design research centre in Sussex.

Since completing her Fellowship in 2003, Laura established her textile art and design studio in South Wales, and has been dividing her time between public and private art commissions, exhibition work, curation, technical research and freelance design consultancy.  Laura is also a lecturer on the BA Textiles: knit, weave & mixed media course in The Carmarthen School of Art, Coleg Sir Gâr.

Laura’s breadth of practice and multi-faceted approach has made her somewhat unusual in the woven textiles sphere.  Whether it be site-specific art, exhibition work or interior textile design, underpinning all of Laura’s work is an inherent practical curiosity to exploit weave principles, celebrate the beauty of yarns and create striking aesthetics for this ancient craft.

Laura has received many notable awards for her practice including a Creative Wales Ambassador Award from the Arts Council of Wales. In 2011 Laura was a finalist in the Inspire Wales Awards in recognition for both her practice, education work and involvement with organisations such as the Makers Guild in Wales to raise the profile of craft. In 2008 Laura won the Applied Arts prize in the Welsh Artist of the Year competition for a ‘Loose Threads’ sculpture and the Wesley Barrell Craft Award for Textiles. She has work in several public collections including the Victoria and Albert Museum, The National Wool Museum, the Powerhouse Museum in Australia and the Crafts Study Centre.

Recent public art commissions have included: The Beaney House of Knowledge in Canterbury, Cynon Valley Hospital in Mountain Ash and the new Fairmont Hotel in Mecca.

Working alongside Oriel Myrddin Gallery, Laura developed, selected and curated ‘warp+weft’, an exhibition of international contemporary weaving in 2010 which toured to other venues in Wales and England. Other curatorial projects have included: 2015 ‘Connecting Threads’ Tenby Museum, Pembrokeshire; 2013 ‘Utility’ Craft in the Bay, Cardiff;  2011‘Resonant Colour’ Llantarnam Grange, Cwmbran, Wales;  2010 warp+weft: from handloom to production, National Wool Museum; 2010 ‘Exposed: textiles in the open’, Fibre Art Wales at the National Botanic Garden of Wales.

Laura has exhibited widely nationally and internationally exhibitions have included: 2017 Grassi Messe, Leipzig, Germany; 2016 15th Tapestry Triennial, Lodz, Poland; 2012  Retro / Prospective, Brown Grotta Arts, USA; 2012-14 Beauty is the first test: Contemporary Craft & Mathematics, Pumphouse Gallery, London, then on tour to 7 further venues around the UK; 2010 – 2011  Inspired by Albers, Ruthin Craft Centre & Dovecot Studio Gallery; 2009 Sara Preisler Gallery, Custard Factory, Birmingham; 2009 ‘Better than Grey: a serious consideration of colour’ group show, Bury St Edmunds Art Gallery; 2009 ‘Fibre Voices’ Fibre Art Wales ten year anniversary touring group show, Llantarnam Grange, Cwmbran & The Ucheldre, Holyhead; 2006  ‘Penelope’s Thread’ Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Victoria and Albert Museum, London;  2006 ‘Inspired by Architecture’, group exhibition, Lesley Craze Gallery, London.

Laura is part of a forthcoming artist residency in India, leading to new exhibition work which will be shown in 2018 at Ruthin Craft Centre, National Wool Museum and in India.

 

Wired and Weave

Mixed media processes and materials including metal wire, concrete, wood and textile

 

“The statuesque ‘Wired’ and ‘Weave’ embody a multilayered narrative, which incorporate personal memory and the physical practice of ‘making’.

The balance between the processes of transformation of materials, and ‘meaning’, inherently play with the abstract and emotional charge experienced by the viewer. Using a combination of mixed media and reclaimed objects, my work experiments with the balance between construction and destruction; reinventing and reassembling; stepping back in time, only to then move forward and respond intuitively with materials such as wire, nails, tacks, wood, cloth and thread. These are indeed man-made materials, which resonate and reference soft furnishing, carpentry, refurbishment and building work.

Part upholstered with binding and tacks, ambiguous textured knit and wrapped with wire, they reference the personal memory of a home built, of protection and presence within. Evoking a commanding presence, as if frozen in time, they are simultaneously strong, reverential, silent and solemnly dominant; echoing the architectural, memorials and monuments of the past.

Subtle tonal variations of black are used to focus the eye on the details within the works, rendering them timeless and universal in their solitude and sense of humility. I endeavour to evoke a sense of silence, presence and spirit inherent within; sculptures of dark, intense beauty.

‘Sense of Place’, upbringing, absence and of course mortality are integral to my concepts within this body of works.”

 

Ruth Harries was born and lives in Wales. She has exhibited both Nationally and Internationally including the International Contemporary Craft Biennale, China, the Pfaff Art Embroidery London, Paris, Netherlands & Sweden, Made London and has represented Wales in the Festival Interceltique de L’Orient.

Awards include the Best Textiles Award – Selvedge Magazine at ‘Made by Hand’, Uk; Antiques of the Future’ Award- Homes & Antiques Magazine; Welsh Artist of the Year (overall winner), &  Mixed Media Award; Craft and Design Award -National Eisteddfod of Wales, Ruth was also a shortlisted prize winner for the Texteil Festival Holland.

Commissions have included the British Council, the National Trust and the Welsh Assembly Government.

Ruth is a founding member of Fibre Art Wales (Exhibiting group) and a member of the Makers Guild in Wales.

Publications include: Contemporary Craft Magazine China (6 page feature) 2015; Culture Colony Quaterly Magazine (feature article) 2015; ‘text in textile art’ by Sara Impey , Batsford 2013; ‘Instinctive Quilt Art’ by Bethan Ash 2011; ’10’- Fibre Art Wales – 10Years  2009; Embroidery Magazine (feature article) 2006 & 2007 and Art Embroidery-Still Life, Pfaff 2006.

Exhibitions include: 2015 – Lle Celf – National Eisteddfod of Wales; 2015  –  Select – Stroud International Textiles Festival; ‘Transience’ – Fibre Art Wales – Craft in the Bay, Wales; 2014 –  International Contemporary Craft Biennale, Nantong, China; ‘Made’ – Showcase Yorkshire sculpture Park Gallery; ‘Fourteen’ – WW1 commemorative exhibition; 2013 –  MADE London – selected exhibition; 2010  – Texteil Festival Holland – ( shortlisted prize winner); Pfaff Art Embroidery Exhibition, Alexandra Palace, London, Paris; ‘Homelands’ FAW in Vermont, USA; 2008 – Pfaff Art Embroidery Exhibition, Alexandra Palace, London, France , Netherlands, Sweden; 2007 – Welsh Contemporaries in London; 2006 – Art Embroidery, Sweden, France; 2005 – Museum of Modern Art, Wales; Stuttgart, Welsh Artists Exhibition; Festival Interceltique de L’Orient, France  – solo show representing Wales; Pfaff Art Embroidery Exhibition, Alexandra Palace, London; 2005 – ‘Birthright’ Llantarnam Grange Art Centre.

In the gallery foyer until 21st October.

This year Oriel Myrddin Gallery joined forces with artist Laura Thomas and the National Wool Museum for the 2017 Big Draw – creating a giant woven work of art on the Museum’s tenter frame.

The tenter frame is situated near the banks of the river Bargod and is used for drying blankets after fulling – a process where the cloth is washed and then stretched out to dry so it doesn’t shrink. This is where we get the expression on tenter hooks.

The weaving, done by over 40 participants was filmed and turned into a time lapse animation by Jacob Whittaker.

Penitence I: the garter of penance, 2006-07

Leather, barbs, threads

 

Worn for long periods by nuns of particular orders, under the dictact of The Church of Rome. The pain inflicted by the barbs endured as punishment (often self-inflicted and decided upon) for ‘evil thoughts of the flesh’. A pain offered up as a private demonstration of Devotion; agony for the sake of and Love of Jesus Christ.

As with many pieces, there are hints of autobiography, whilst focusing on the main reasoning; the arrogance and misuse of power which brings potential for war and deep, often hidden sorrow and agony to the powerless.”

Rozanne Hawksley was born in 1931 in Portsmouth, Hampshire and has lived and worked in Pembrokeshire since 1987. She studied at Southern College of Art, Portsmouth Centre 1947-1951 and Royal College of Art, School of Fashion 1951-1954.

During her long career, Rozanne has taught and lectured at art colleges in Guildford, Brighton and Portsmouth as well as American Centre of Needlework, Washington DC, USA; Battersea College of Education (University of South Bank and Roehampton); Goldsmiths, University of London; The Slade and The Royal College of Art.

Solo exhibitions have included National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London 2014; Foundling Hospital Museum, London 2011/12; Mission Gallery, Swansea, Wales 1997 and 2010; The Centre for the Applied Arts, Ruthin, Wales 2009; Imperial War Museum aboard HMS Belfast, London 2006/2007.

Amongst numerous national and international group exhibitions Rozanne’s work has featured in the Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, Japan 2013; Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast 2012; Tilburg Textile Museum 2003, Holland; Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh 1993; Central Museum of Textiles, Łódź, Poland 1992.

In autumn 2017 Rozanne’s work will be shown at the Battleship Cove Maritime Museum in Massachusetts for a two year period. The Contemporary Art Society of Wales also recently purchased two works for the National Museum in Cardiff to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Aberfan disaster.

Rozanne’s work is held in a number of public collections including Embroiderers’ Guild; Association for the Advancement of Science, London; National Maritime Museum; Imperial War Museum; The Bishop of London, the Rt. Revd and Rt. Hon Richard Chartres; National Museum of Wales.

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