Not So Fast! is an exhibition by twenty one textile artists and designers who bring together a range of contemporary artworks and functional textiles at the historic Octagon gallery in Bath. The show is curated by Carole Waller.
Each individual artist uses textile as a material or source for his or her own discipline, with intriguing techniques and results, producing vibrant colours, sumptuous fabrics, tactile surfaces imbued with meaning, depth and function.
Each exhibitor has a story to tell. The work ranges from individually designed clothes and accessories, to small and large scale textile hangings, and to interpretations of the metaphorical meaning of textiles through sculpture, installation and new media. This cross-over between the functional and conceptual is shown in one of Bath’s most iconic buildings: the 18th century Octagon.
Carole Waller showed a range if beautifully crafted garments alongside her vibrant, sculptural glass pieces (left).
Amy Houghton's interactive installation Made in Edinburgh invites the audience to sit down at the desk and engage with the out moded manual typewriter and record their comments, thoughts or stories to be archived later by the artist as part of the work. The hand written letter, projected onto the desk, come from the Bate Archive for the Dovecot Tapestry Studios. The animation of the letters is only activated when the typewriter is in use, at this point the words gradually leave the page and disappear as if lost in time.
Anna Glasbrook uses the effects of layering, transparency and the travelling line to create free standing screens with a lace like quality. Her textiles vibrate with vivid colours and movement enticing viewers to stop and look more closely.
Liz Clay showed large hangings and functional accessories in exquisitely hand made felt. The hangings rely entirely on the inherent beauty of the materials' natural textures for their elegant effects. Her boas, wraps and scarves are carefully created from cashmere, merino, alpaca and silks. They have featured in the collections of Stella McCartney and Givenchy as well as being stocked by Harrods.
A superb hanging by Tim Parry-Williams was suspended from the balcony of the central octagon and I very much regret not having a picture to remind me of its subtle beauty.