Wednesday, 18 September 2013
Water - Colour
It's London Design Festival time again! Last night I attended the opening of Katherine May's 'Water-Colour' installation at the new Precinct space at the 'Arthouse' on Richmond Road in Hackney and what a special experience it was. I'm looking forward to seeing how the installation evolves over the next few weeks and beyond....
The installation brings together Katherine's sustainable textile practise which focuses on cloth and community , her recent MA research and cleverly references Arthouse's past life as a laundry.
Up above in the tall atrium, dyed silk cloths gently whisp about from a series of washing lines, while below a series vats of blue liquid covered in bubbles await the next submerge of white cloth.
Here is Katherine and blue was definitely the colour of the evening! The vats contain the natural dye 'Indigo' produced by the plants leaves. The process is truly magical as the cloth goes through a range of shades during the dying process from green to deep blue as the dyed cloth oxidises with the air at the drying stage.
Over the course of the installation time frame, cloth will be dyed daily until the dye vats are exhausted. The washing lines will fill up with cloth journeying through slow graduations from dark to light blue. The Dye vats will then get replaced by a sewing work space and the making of the cloth into quilts.
The Water-Colour installation has been designed to raise awareness of water consumption in the production and use of textiles and aims to reconnect us physically to water through a direct experience of handling water in a dye vat. As the space filled up with visitors, it was certainly mesmerising watching the dyeing process, which was attracting quite a crowd!
Over the next 2 weeks there is also an exciting programme of talks, workshops and events taking place within the installation. I've got my eye on the following:
Emma Rigby's (co founder of the Dalston ethical fashion store 'Here Today, Here Tomorrow) 'Garment Polling Station'.
Emma Neuberg's (Slow Textiles Group) workshop on Sashiko, a decorative reinforcement stitching from Japan.
Katherine May's patchwork and mending workshop inspired by the Japanese technique Boro.
To find out more and book visit Precint's Eventbrite page.