OVER-ARCHING CONCEPT – emotional quality of textiles
I have always been interested in the visual quality of textiles and believe that they do hold an emotive quality to them. According to “Emotional textiles: An introduction” by Alice Dolan and Sarah Holloway, material objects such as garments and textiles”provide a wealth of opportunities for reconstructing material vocabularies of emotion”. I aimed to recreate the two-dimensionality (prints) and three-dimensionality (texture) of textiles on a flat piece of surface using materials and mark-making tools involved in textile design and fabric-making.
Jan Koen Lomans is a fine artist who works with textiles to create his emotive, abstract compositions of the theme of nature. He assembles different fabric and textiles in each composition to capture the emotion using lines and texture. However, the use of colour impacts greatly on the emotion and that may be a limitation in my using of textile mediums for mark-making.
To me, Joy is silent, quiet and subtle. Flowing gently, I wanted to use the lines to convey calmness and the smoothness of the emotion. Inspired by the lines and folds of pleated cloth, I used thread as a medium and composed the movement line by line using fabric glue.
Using different threads of different colours (white and gradients of black), I tried to created the folds of these sculptural fabrics. Using space between lines to convey depth and volume, I tried to incorporated the three dimensionality as much as possible.
Surprise has an obvious narrative, where elements are built up and then exploded in an moment. Inspired by Lomans’ textural use of the terrycloth (fabric made of tiny loops or protrusions), I sourced for similar material to imprint and to experiment with its texture.
I found tiny puffs of similar material of varying sizes and used them as a mark making tool with black acrylic paint. I also experimented with loose wool by fixing it upon the prints. However, it had more of an implication of decay than intended and thus was not used.
Love is composed of prints made from crochet patches, a symbol of personal craft and maternal love. I feel like this print was not the most successful in its composition and does not capture the texture of the textile printed.
Initially, for the emotion of love, I worked with black satin fabric and embroidery with white thread. But due to incompetency of embroidery skills and time constraint, I was unable to create a print that could convey the emotion of love, an explosion of feelings, well. Thus, I used the prints made with crotchet instead.
Fear is made of repeated, contrasting prints of black and white coupled with textured line quality liken to fabric composed of thread. I intend for the quality of black and white film-noir films, where contrast between light and dark is used to evoke suspense or fear.
I used a roller, liken to the technique of a fabric press, where ink are rolled onto a surface to create prints.
Experiments with paint and roller:
Anger is the outburst of uncontrollable emotion that is triggered by the built up of tiny irritations. Tiny metal sequins and feathers were used as mark making tools, inspired by a textile design I found in a book.
Sadness is experienced through a gloom around your life, where there is misdirection and uncertainty. I used spay-paint over tulle fabric to capture the darkness as well as to capture the print of the tulle fabric.
I experimented with other fabric but only the tulle was porous enough to recreate the print onto paper.