Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Module 4 chapter 13

Contemporary textile artists

The first contemporary textile and mixed media artist I’d like to introduce you to is a French artist named , Claire Combelles The best way to view this web site is to put the artist’s name into the Google search engine and then click the translate option, it’s well worth the effort.

I was lucky enough to see an exhibition of her work at Chateau Valencay in the Loire valley. Her work interested me because she uses a lot of 3-d effects by changing weight of cloth and paper and textures, all in one piece and in this exhibition, what started out as a flat piece of work was transformed by its draping and positioning , within the context of each room, where it was exhibited.

The concept of the exhibition within the chateau was to evoke, particularly feminine memories of the women involved with the Prince of Talleyrand. These women ranged from courtesans to writers and Combelles had spent a long time studying their history and absorbing the essence of the individuals.

The other very special element of this exhibition was that there were many examples of the artist’s preparatory experiments on show which really gave a superb insight into her working practices.

Having spent a couple of hours just absorbing this exhibition I tried to synthesise what it was that had inspired me about the work and this is what I came up with:

I like the looseness, colour combinations, considered approach, choice of fabrics, and papers, different juxtapositions and textures, bold use of colour and amazing contrast of scale in her collections.

In Combelles’ 2007-9 collection, Montresol over the streets, her observations reveal ‘Wool serves as a guideline……It is both material, colour and design. It serves to illustrate myths known: Arachne, the golden fleece, Ariadne's thread, Penelope's tapestry, drift on the garment - this is the dress Vestal - ending with nothing more than a factor plastic to sew pieces of cloth and spinning them into abstraction.’….. gives a deep insight into how she approaches her work.

I had a wonderful couple of hours observing the artist’s work up close, studying it and sketching particular pieces, noting how she used different textures and materials to create a harmonious and sometimes challenging effect.

I feel very lucky to have had this experience and feel sure that as in the case of Manolo Valdeze last year it will be very inspirational for me on future projects.

The students’ work I chose to research were also very important in my continual understanding and appreciation of contemporary textiles.

I looked at Yuzani Wang and absolutely loved her work, the delicacy of her creations was amazing and something quite different.

Evelina Romanohad such a sense of fredom and humour in her wonderful dog hats and her colour pallet was very exciting, with lovely rich earthy textures.

Pao-pa-nga Siddhigu was another favourite of mine, with her amazing origami inspired knitwear, I couldn’t get anywhere near her ideas, but I found them very inspiring.

I also looked at the recommended artist list and as most people are was delighted with work Louise Gardener’s I’m very envious of her sense of humour.


  1. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful group of artists - quite diverse work but all amazing.
    Just adore Louise Gardeners work - have been following her for sometime, but never had the opportunity to see her work in person - perhaps one day, sigh!

  2. I would be so excited to be working on this module....

  3. I adore the colour pallet of Pao-pa-nga's work!