Patriothall Gallery, WASPS Studio
Until 29 August, 11.00 – 17.00
Tucked away in the corner of a Stockbridge courtyard is a rich exhibition of multimedia tapestries. Though most of the finished pieces themselves are stunning, the addition of perspex boxes containing samples, working drawings and notes that showcase the processes and thoughts behind them give the exhibition another intriguing strand.
The artists comprise S.T.A.R all of whom are recent graduates of the Tapestry Department of Edinburgh College of Art and the theme of weft, wove and knots unite the works. Though tapestry and cutting-edge are commonly associated in the public perception of art, seeing this collection of works proves they can make happy partners.
A wide range of materials are employed, from paper to nylon thread to wood and wire to create pieces that range from extremely delicate, mostly space, to pieces of tapestry nearly a foot deep. The latter is exemplified by Linda Green’s Times to treasure with shining threads in a very open weave suspending morsels of handmade and printed paper. The headline piece by Anna Ray Knot – random pattern is at the other end of the spectrum. Made of what could be described as fabric sausages tied into chunky knots to cover most of one wall in a supersized rag-rug. The candy colours and extreme texture make the piece quite dazzling to gaze at. Arguably the most impressive though is Jo Macdonald’s Unique Recollections that, though they resemble a deep pile sheepskin from afar, are in fact huge arrays of closely piled paper. As if made from hundreds of sacrificed book spines, with age dictating the colour of the strata, the piece is at once sumptuous and subtle.
This exhibition is a great example of how craft processes, considered marginal outside art circles for years, are being pushed in novel, beautiful ways by artists who have recognised their potential. Display cases give a glimpse into the sketchbooks and steps along the way as well as being small works of art in their own right. Though it’s not on for much longer it is well worth a visit and no doubt S.T.A.R is a group to watch.