Saturday, 18 February 2017

2017 Verdant works, Dundee

 It has been wonderful to be involved in another show at the Verdant Mills, this time with edge textile artists scotland.

The Jute Mill, Verdant Works, at Dundee provides a gold mine of textile inspiration and information, not least from the fact that the Golden Fibre, jute, was the reason for its establishment. The large archive and images available cover and bring us a sense of a time now gone.  A photographic image that captured this most for me provided inspiration

The simple stance and directness of gaze of the workers within the weaving shed immediately draws one into imagining their working day; the strong metal structures contrast against the human stance holding the eye and drawing one into the scene. A song by June Tabor and Maddy Prior, Four Loom Weaver came to mind but while it captured a certain aspect it was not the right song for this project.

Further research and The Jute Mill Song by Mary Brooksbank sprung to my attention.  The words have a power and simplicity which immediately captured a sense in the picture…. Mary gives us a glimpse of not only the conditions in the factory but the wages that were worked for.  It led me to find out more and speak to the owner of copyright for the words.
 My original thoughts were of a piece where layers slowly revealed the characters but the directness of the lyrics made me explore the idea of sound waves and light waves. This set the journey for my finished piece; simple use of the powerful lyrics and the reverberating lines of the workers

My thanks and by kind permission of Peter Shepheard I use the words of The Jute Mill Song. He also kindly gave me access to Mary singing the song providing me with a sound backdrop while I did my work.

Lots more to see and the show is on until April 23rd, check Verdant works for opening times
sound waves...Picture top left hand corner

Such a variety of pieces!