String Along shows the work of artists Helen Amanatiadis, Cathy Ball, Tricia Flanagan, Jody Graham. Judy Ann Moule, Christine Wiltshier and Marcelo Zavala-Baeza.
“Perhaps the key to the ontology of making is to be found in a length of twine.”(1)
The works in String Along are diverse and varied in form. But together they explore ‘line’ from its expression in the act of drawing, to knitting, weaving and to the filament extruded in 3D printing. The process of making is also brought to the foreground in many of the exhibited works, as ‘lines’ create material traces that evidence their relationship with the body of the maker.
Image: Details of work by Jody Graham, Marcelo Zavala-Baeza, Helen Amanatiadis, Judy Ann Moule, Cathy Ball, Tricia Flanagan, Christine Wiltshier
24th August 6-7pm - Performance of the collaborative work Uncompleted Gestures Weigh Heavily… artists Judy Ann Moule and Christine Wiltshier
25th and 26th August 12-2pm - Continuation of collaborative performance work Uncompleted Gestures Weigh Heavily… artists Judy Ann Moule and Christine Wiltshier
25th August 2 -5pm - It All Adds Up – Community collaborative rug - work in progress made from salvaged bits of string, rope, shoe laces, cord and fabric discarded on streets, in alleyways, parks, train stations and similar places with Jody Graham. All salvaged string contributions welcome.
31st August 1st and 2nd September 2-4pm
Continuation of collaborative performance work Uncompleted Gestures Weigh Heavily… artists Judy Ann Moule and Christine Wiltshier
9th September 2- 5pm It All Adds Up – Continuation of community collaborative rug - work in progress made from salvaged bits of string, rope, shoe laces, cord and fabric discarded on streets, in alleyways, parks, train stations and similar places with Jody Graham. All salvaged string contributions welcome.
The ancient technique of making string is one of humanity's earliest innovations that led to the evolution of culture from fishing nets in agriculture to weaving looms in industry, which were the forerunners of the computers of today. Helen Amanatiadis’ works, A Measure of Strings and Probability of Miracles, explore the tensions between the inherently ancient practice of making and working with string and the rise of industrialisation and rationalism. Her works quote architectural building structures, braces or jigs, and are created from industrial strings of synthetic twine and rope, which are crocheted and woven into bands that cut into and across the gallery space. Amanatiadis’ works bring to the fore emergent activities such as making from string, which have been repressed through modernity and industrialisation.
Jody Graham’s works Missed Diagnosis, Urban Bowers and It All Adds Up address the accumulating detritus of the industrial world. Inspired by the use of found materials and the make do ethos that lay behind the creation of the ‘wagga rug’, which was thought to be created by Australian itinerant agricultural workers, from used wheat or jute flour bags and twine, during the late 1800s and early 1900s (2). Graham has collected and repurposed found string like materials into a life size cocoon and a series of nests that investigate metamorphosis and transformation. It All Adds Up is a collaborative work in progress, performed throughout the duration of the exhibition, which involves a rug being created from salvaged bits of string, rope, shoe laces, cord and fabric discarded on streets, in alleyways, parks and similar public places.
The evolution of the tools we make with informs the evolution of the way we think and the work of Marcelo Zavala-Baeza has developed through a micro interference with the processes of current technology. In Where is Gary? a series of miniature figurines appear to capture a moment of movement, an explosion of line that append the figurines bodies, a free expression of extruded filament from the otherwise controlled 3Dprinted description of the body – each have a unique character, expressed through aesthetics of the digital that he creates through a process that enhances chance encounters and happenings –and terms ‘serendipity”.
From micro to macro gestures, the collaborative performance work of conceptual artists Judy Ann Moule and Christine Wiltshier, Uncompleted Gestures Weigh Heavily…moves the notion of string towards thread and yarn. Using constructed and recycled materials (red thread and hair stuffed tubing) and suspended knitting tools Moule and Wiltshier consider notions of subjective and constructed identity, teasing out what is visible and what might be hidden, and, what might be shared, by each unique individual. As the props become activated, and the pair crosses over and attempt to interpret fading knitting instructions, the process of knitting becomes a gestural dance where the artists’ bodies and the process of knitting are integrated, suggesting knitting as part of identity.
The works of Cathy Ball and Tricia Flanagan also involve the reimagining of intimate artist experiences, through a combination of string as thread, yarn, technology and weaving. Ball’s work, Day 10 involves a transformative process described in red thread, which accounts for the time involved in treatment and recovery during illness. The meditative nature of the weaving process was used therapeutically during this time to create this series of small panels.
Yarn, weaving and intimate experience are combined with technology in Tricia Flanagan’s’ work BODYecology; in this case the time counted in her work is that of sleep. A video reveals a performance installation and is displayed in the exhibition along with a blanket. The blanket has been produced during the performance. The video shows the artist sleeping in a gallery beside a portable dying machine which records her sleep pattern in indigo along a hand spun thread. When Flanagan awakes she weaves the resulting variegated blue and white thread into a blanket, whose varying stripes document in cloth, a night’s sleep, this process was repeated for 1 month.
1. Ingold, Tim. The Textility of making, Cambridge Journal of Economics 2010, 34, p.91-102