Posts made in October, 2018

Textiles at the Oceania Exhibition – Royal academy

Posted by on Oct 14, 2018 in Clients, Discussion | 0 comments

  The Oceania exhibition brings together the greatest collection of art from the island cultures dotted across the Pacific Ocean, Micronesia, Polynesia and  Melanesia. The Pacific occupies a huge area,  over a third of the earth’s surface. It includes Hawaii, New Zealand and New Guinea. The exhibition is hugely affecting with strong, graphic statues and carvings – their influence on Western 20th century artists like Picasso and Henry Moore are clear to see.  Most of the artworks were traded rather than stolen stemming from a culture of gift giving amongst the Pacific peoples who would give to visitors they wished to continue to trade with. The fantastic artistry and craft skills of some of the gifts – like barkcloth – were not fully appreciated by some recipients like Captain Cook.  Barkcloth (or tapa cloth) is made by hammering wet bark on an anvil repeatedly until it forms very thin sheets – it is often mistaken for paper and (apparently) has a soft, pliant feel. In the Pacific the bark used comes from the breadfruit or mulberry tree. The cloth is then decorated by being dyed in intricate geometric patterns. In the Oceania exhibition the pieces displayed reminded me of patchwork quilts. Originally they were used as wall hangings and were part of the important  ceremonies around births, deaths and marriages.   The barkcloth is simply stunning – although (of course) you cannot touch it you sense that it is soft and pliable, delicate yet strong. I’m going back to the exhibition and will take a better picture next time....

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Textiles – the dangers to us all of textile misuse

Posted by on Oct 8, 2018 in Discussion | 0 comments

Textiles – the dangers to us all of textile misuse

Fewer clothes and re-use and repair Good to see Stacey Dooley’s  reminder of how much damage to the planet we are doing in our failure to use textiles responsibly. She also demonstrates the problems that making lovely, fresh cotton does to the planet. I don’t know about you but I always thought of cotton as an organic, natural product. Of course it is a plant but it takes so much water and so many toxic chemicals to process cotton that we cannot go on as we are.  We need to go back to making quilts from the original components – scraps and remnants of clothes or reusing good areas of partly worn clothes, instead of generating new cotton that we then cut up to make new pieces of material.  There are manufacturers – like Patagonia – which make a huge effort to manufacture responsibly. Of course their clothes are more expensive but they do last longer so requiring less use of raw materials and environmentally sustainable.  This was the original aim of OLSA to use textiles more sustainably and we’re about to revamp our website to show more of our use of material that would otherwise go to landfill. Perfectly good material that would otherwise go to landfill. ...

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