Friday, November 6, 2009

Textile in/and Art

I have been thinking about Joanne Mattera's blog post I mentioned earlier today; not about what I'd like to call myself, but about textile in/and art.

A while back I went to a John Bevan Ford exhibition at The Suter with Rosie. Among other things he often drew/painted woven Maori cloaks, not to record, but as a symbol. One of the reasons I enjoyed the exhibition was because he deemed textile as deserving of such importance in his art.

From what I've seen, when textile appeared in paintings, they either show the wealth of the subject, often kings, generals and churchmen, or depict women and their mundane lives, as in embroidering for the rich or mending for the poor. Rosie added that painters (and certainly sculptors) showed off their technical skills through textiles. But textile itself, that I know of, has seldom been the main subject of paintings.

As with any other craft/art, top recognized artists, the Living Human Treasures, involved in textile/art in Japan are men, (although there are many women practicing it.) So I don't associate textile so directly with women (ergo, domestic/mundane). This could be why I have difficulty understanding the low esteem assigned to fiber/textile art around me. Although I think the many nameless European tapestry and brocade weavers were men, too, weren't they? Or was the work actually done by women?

White I write, I'm melting listening to the Mark Vincent CD I got today from Australia; he's the freakishly talented 15-year old Australian singer. He sometimes sounds like Dean Martin, sometimes like a much younger Bocelli, and I look forward to Mark aging and living a bit. The production value isn't great, but this CD will make a great Rococo weaving background. Popera at its best. And the last track is Advance Australia Fair!

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