Tag Archives: Part Five: Textiles

Project 3: Research ~ Christo and Jeanne-Claude

Surrounded Islands Project:

Christo and Jeanne-Calude; Surrounded Islands, Biscayne Bay, Greater Miami, Florida 1980-83. Photo: Wolfgang Volz.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude; Surrounded Islands, Biscayne Bay, Greater Miami, Florida 1980-83. Photo: Wolfgang Volz.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I agree in part with the analysis of surrounded islands as ‘textiles used on an extremely large scale to both define and cover aspects of the natural environment, in this case two islands’. It’s hard to disagree with the scale, but I’m not 100% sure I can see what the aim of this was. To me the bright pink colour is a clash with the natural landscape, this clash brings attention to the natural form of the islands, the shapes of the fabric around the islands also serve to make clear the natural form of the islands. The fabric also acts as a cover over the waters around the island and makes access to them harder. Perhaps an unintentional benefit of the project was the clean up involved on the islands in preparation, apparently some forty tonnes of waste was gathered from across eleven islands in the bay!

It’s interesting to me also to consider why use textiles for this, they clearly state the the surroundings were made from ‘Woven Polypropylene’ a man made fibre, not plastic.

Art or Design

I think this work is an art work or piece rather than a design piece, as it wasn’t created for function or to help achieve a purpose or goal but rather as a project to highlight the islands and make a spectacle of them. According to their website the islands were ‘a work of art underlining the various elements and ways in which the people of Miami live between land and water’.

Temporary or Permanent

This was a temporary piece – the pink fabric surrounded the islands for a duration of two weeks before being removed.

Large Scale or Small Scale

Given that in the photographs the surrounding pink fabric can be seen from the air, I’d say the piece was of a large scale.

Christo and Jeanne-Calude; Surrounded Islands, Biscayne Bay, Greater Miami, Florida 1980-83. Photo: Wolfgang Volz.

Christo and Jeanne-Calude; Surrounded Islands, Biscayne Bay, Greater Miami, Florida 1980-83. Photo: Wolfgang Volz.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Transforming and/or Defining and/or Forming

In our workbook the characteristic highlighted was ‘defining’ – I agree with this but I also think the piece is trans-formative. I think this is because it takes the islands from obscurity, to becoming a focal point or destination (at least for the duration of the piece), which is a trans- formative act.

Immersive and/or Distant

I agree these are distant – they had to travelled to by boat from the bay area, so they weren’t easily reachable or touchable.

Pattern and/or Colour and/or Repetition and/or Shape

Christo and Jeanne-Calude; Surrounded Islands, Biscayne Bay, Greater Miami, Florida 1980-83. Photo: Wolfgang Volz.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude; Surrounded Islands, Biscayne Bay, Greater Miami, Florida 1980-83. Photo: Wolfgang Volz.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colour wasn’t highlighted as a characteristic in our workbooks, which I find odd! The vibrancy of the pink fabric I think it a key part of the piece, if it had been a blue, say in keeping with the water the art works wouldn’t have been nearly so defining or as visible from a distance.

 

Wrapped Trees Project:

Construction view of Christo and Jeanne Claude;Wrapped Trees, Foundation Beyeler and Berower Park, Riehen, Switzerland, 1997-98. Photo: Wolfgang Volz.

Construction view of Christo and Jeanne Claude;Wrapped Trees, Foundation Beyeler and Berower Park, Riehen, Switzerland, 1997-98. Photo: Wolfgang Volz.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Art or Design

Temporary or Permanent

Large Scale or Small Scale

Transforming and/or Defining and/or Forming

Immersive and/or Distant

Pattern and/or Colour and/or Repetition and/or Shape

Considering the work from the point of view of the textile rather than the tree is harder than I imagined. The fabric used looks so fragile and light, in some of the photographs it looks like bin liners (they have an transparency). In the photograph below the quality of the fabric as semi-sheer enables for the forms inside, the lines of the branches to still be visible;

Translucent view of Christo and Jeanne Claude;Wrapped Trees, Foundation Beyeler and Berower Park, Riehen, Switzerland, 1997-98. Photo: Wolfgang Volz.

Translucent view of Christo and Jeanne Claude;Wrapped Trees, Foundation Beyeler and Berower Park, Riehen, Switzerland, 1997-98. Photo: Wolfgang Volz.

The fabric in the photograph left seems to have a ballooning effect, the tree’s become almost cartoon shaped at the edges (at least that’s what I see in it).

The fabric here is confusing – is it there to protect and envelope or to cover and distort? I guess protect, because the fabric used is the same kind used ‘every winter in Japan to protect trees from heavy snow’.

 

 

Sunny view of Christo and Jeanne Claude;Wrapped Trees, Foundation Beyeler and Berower Park, Riehen, Switzerland, 1997-98. Photo: Wolfgang Volz.

Sunny view of Christo and Jeanne Claude;Wrapped Trees, Foundation Beyeler and Berower Park, Riehen, Switzerland, 1997-98. Photo: Wolfgang Volz.

In the sunlight the fabric has a sheen, an almost metallic quality, which makes the forms seem more fantastical or unreal to me. It really reminds me of something you might expect to see in an illustration or children’s cartoon which features trees or forms from another planet. I think that’s partly the metallic quality but also the sections of shape created by the ropes around the fabric.

 

 

Winter view of Christo and Jeanne Claude;Wrapped Trees, Foundation Beyeler and Berower Park, Riehen, Switzerland, 1997-98. Photo: Wolfgang Volz.

Winter view of Christo and Jeanne Claude;Wrapped Trees, Foundation Beyeler and Berower Park, Riehen, Switzerland, 1997-98. Photo: Wolfgang Volz.

In the snow the fabric becomes a platform or base for the wider settling of snow on top of the trees. This again alters the shape or highlights different angles or facets of the wrapped trees.

 

 

Finally here’s a link to a YouTube video from Vernissage TV; Christo and Jeanne-Claude (Interview with Christo), in which he discussed “Wrapped Trees” :

Project 3: Research – Zaha Hadid Sackler Gallery extension

The Serpentine Sackler Gallery, extension was commissioned in 2009-2013. A gallery of two different parts, a converted 19th century brick building and a 21st century textile based structure (designed by Zaha Hadid Architects). The structure is made from tensile created from glass-fibre and forms a curved canopy which looks a bit like a sting ray crossed with a space ship (that’s just what I think).

I read an article about it in the Dezeen Magazine online, Serpentine Sackler Gallery by Zaha Hadid. Also in The Architectural Review; Zaha Hadid’s Serpentine Extension exploits old and new. 

Serpentine Sackler Gallery Extension; Front facing view. Architects: Zaha Hadid Architects, photograph by Luke Hayes.

Serpentine Sackler Gallery Extension; Front facing view. Architects: Zaha Hadid Architects, photograph by Luke Hayes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Project 3: Research textiles in context pt.1

I started to take some photos using the camera on my phone for the research towards assignment 5. The assignment focuses on the use of textiles in everyday contexts and asks us to consider textiles as artwork, upholstery, curtains. For the purposes of the assignment it looked like a place with a range of and varied use/application of textiles would be most beneficial.

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Project 2: Research ~ Ptolemy Mann

For this task I have been asked to research a designer/artist/maker whose work I am drawn to and consider the following questions. I’ve chosen to look more closely at the work of Ptolemy Mann.

What is their craft and how do they approach their work?

Ptolemy Mann is a textile artist and designer, whose craft is primarily weaving. She is a highly skilled hand weaver and so some of her work, commissions, is made by herself at a loom. Her textile work reveal she is an “expert at creating a broad spectrum of vibrant colours in a single design, she is known for her painterly approach” (p.172, Textile Visionaries by Bradley Quinn).

 

Circle #10, 2011, textile artwork woven by Ptolemy Mann.

Circle #10, 2011, textile artwork woven by Ptolemy Mann.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Project 2: Craftsmanship and quality

Before I move on to researching a designer/maker/artist whose work I’m drawn to, I wanted to touch briefly on a few things mentioned in the course book under the titles; ‘craftsmanship and quality, desire for narrative’.

I think a really good recent examples which shows how both those elements are something people are hungry for (possibly mostly at the luxury or high end of the consumer scale), is the birth of the London Craft Week. London held it’s first week dedicated to craft in 2015, and recently, held its second week in May 2016. Much like the London Design Week and London Fashion Week’s the events took place across London, with artists opening their own studios as well as large high end fashion brands offering an insight into the artistry or craft that goes into their products.

The video below is the promotional video for the 2016 week. I wanted to include it as it’s insightful about the current mood or desire for craftsmanship today.

Guy Salter – Executive Chairman, London Craft Week says;

“Consumers they have the money to spend, but they’ve got a little bit tired of the same old brands, the same old streets. People are asking many more question about the substance of how is something made, who made it,  where was it made? We are giving those consumers the alternative where one minute you could be going behind the seasons of a household brand. But the next you’re going around the corner down an alley and coming across an independent maker who you’ve never heard of before but whose work is of the same or higher quality.”

“What we aim to do is create something which I think is unique. Which is actually an opportunity for that consumer to shop, collect, buy, learn, discover beautiful things from around the world. meet exceptional makers face to face, and actually understand why what they do is so special.”

To me Salter’s word really express that desire for something hand crafted, as something unique, just as each individual person is unique. It’s also about the experience for the shopper, people are being welcomed into the story as it were, to become part of the craftsman world by seeing their working environment, the skill of their craft and by buying their goods.

I think it’s also interesting the appeal is made to those interested in more luxury goods, the brands that were included (Chanel, Mulberry among others) are not high street brands. I wonder how or if this desire will filter down into the consciousness of lower or middle income consumers. Or if this will remain the new centre of luxury tastes and desires (for a season of course)?