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What is Textile Art

Last week, I was admiring some stunning textile art created by the Textile Art Group of Gauteng at The Art Room in Parkhurst. As I was admiring the pieces, a friendly gentleman approached me with an interesting question: "What is textile art?" I must admit, I was a bit taken aback! It made me pause and really think about it, so I've decided to share my thoughts on this topic in my blog.


I explained some of the techniques used in textile art, like batik, shibori, screen printing, and hand dyeing, even though I haven't personally tried them myself. Fabric manipulation is another common technique in this field. Textile artists are always pushing the boundaries, experimenting with new materials and ideas and it was clearly visible in this exhibition.


PHOTO 1: CREATING BATIK PATTERNS | PHOTO 2: FABRIC MANIPULATION | PHOTO 3: SCREEN PRINTING


While I don't think my fellow textile artists need a reminder, it's worth noting the historical significance of textiles and how they've evolved over time. Embroidery, dyeing, weaving, knitting, crocheting, and surface design are just a few examples of forms that are sometimes seen as craft rather than art. But what makes them art? I will cover this topic in a future blog post.


PHOTO 1: HAND DYEING with SALT CRYSTALS | PHOTO 2: KNITTING with a DIFFERENCE


At this particular exhibition, I noticed several artists using their work to address social and political issues, with environmental conservation being a recurring theme. By using familiar materials, like fabric, they're able to express their concerns creatively.


PHOTO 1: BURNING FABRIC | PHOTO 2: FABRIC WEAVING


Textile art really highlights the materiality of fabric and how it can be manipulated to create both visual and tactile effects. Artists in this field primarily use fabric as their medium, using a wide range of techniques to create pieces that belong in the fine art galleries.


FABRIC MANIPULATION AND MULTI MEDIA

The gentleman seemed a bit surprised by my response, but it definitely got him thinking as he continued to admire the textile art on display! I hope these thoughts will linger with you the next time you have the opportunity to admire textile art!


Happy Easter to you and your loved ones and remember, there is a stunning pattern for an Easter Wreath plus instructions for you to create on my website!

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