The Space In-Between…….

untitled, GIG exhibition. Hauser & Wirth Somerset. 2014

Whilst I work now as a Creative Pattern Cutter, I began my studies in Fine Art,  I love finding art pieces that are created using textiles, and clothing which wouldn’t look out of place in a gallery.  My own artwork always seemed very much to be about materials and textiles, and my final work for my BA Fine Art consisted of hand embroidered canvases.

If you were to divide up this area into smaller slices, what we would find is Performance Art, Sculptural Textiles, Conceptual Designers, Fine Artist using Craft. There are many forms of art in which Textiles and Craft have been used.

Clothing, or Fashion in itself is interactive art, even the basics we wear on an everyday basis have to be designed, but there are many areas of fashion where the idea of clothing is pushed into ideas, thinking outside the box.

Below are a collection of links, videos, images of wonderfully diverse work from Artists & Designers.

Performance Art:

Nick Cave.

Known as a Fabric Scultptor and describing himself as a ‘Fiber Artist’, he mixes the act of wearing the ‘Sound Suits’ he creates – Performing with them through Dance and Sound.


Ann Hamilton.

The Event of Thread, is a mixture of performance art and interactive art. The focal element of the piece consists of an enormous ‘sail’ of billowing fabric, this division moves with the help of pulleys and the audience can swing towards it or lie beneath it whilst being treated to other elements like sound and birds being released.


Interactive Art:


Three product designers, creating architectural spaces that become interative sculptures/ installations, the play and interact and experience their own form and movement within the sculpture.


Alyce Santoro.

Alyce is an Artist & Scientist, working somewhere between the two. She created Sonic Fabric as an outcome of a project using up old cassette tapes. The wonderful thing about this final piece/product is that the sounds already recorded onto the cassettes can still produces sound when in woven form and has subsequently been used by musicians as an instrument in itself.


Sculptures, using textiles:

Janet Echelman.

My friend put a link on facebook about this amazing sculptor, creating sculptures the size of buildings, her original concepts came from handmade nets in india and lace making.


Phyllida Barlow.

“Things aren’t just visual. They are sensations of physicality”. – Phyllida Barlow in Modern Painters, Summer 2011. Although most of her sculptures are a mix of materials including steel, cardboard, plywood, polystyrene and cement, Phyllida also uses fabrics. This summer a friend and I went to look round the newly opened Hauser & Wirth Somerset – where an exhibition of Phyllida Barlows work was exhibited. A piece, part of the exhibited ‘GIG’ body of work, consisted of a room full of gigantic Pompoms, they are tactile and jovial and bursting full of fabric scraps.

untitled, GIG exhibition. Hauser & Wirth Somerset. 2014

Sarah Applebaum
A Californian Artist who created a range of brightly coloured knitted sculptures in 2008.

Sarah Applebaum. 2008

Derick Melander.

An Artist who creates sculpture out of folded second hand clothing, using the array of colours to create painterly installations. Before the beauty of the pieces are even considered the raw materials  of the second hand clothing have their own personal stories.

Into the Fold (Friends), 2010 from Derick Melander on Vimeo.


Anne Lindberg.

Whilst creating work in the form of drawings and photography, Anne Lindberg also creates Installations. Referring to the craft of ‘Pin & Thread’ drawing probably does not put your imagination to the test when trying to visualise these installations, the threads are pulled across spaces, provided by the galleries architecture, in which they are displayed.

Artists using Craft as Reference:

Tracey Emin.

Some people love her work whilst others can’t stand it, for me I am drawn to the craft elements, the blankets, the tent, they are sewn by hand and presented as very much feminine art, they may not be perfectly executed with the skill of tailors & quilters but they are appliqued fabrics , soft and visually stimulating. I love the fact that such a outspoken well known artist uses these elements in her work.

Tracey Emin Blankets, Love is What you Want .Hayward Gallery 2011Gregg Climer

As an Artist, Designer and Pattern Maker, Gregg Climer has a very diverse portfolio. He creates Quilts, conceived from final images (like paintings), appliqued bed spreads & sewing patterns that map the human face. The Projects are experimental and finished with much skill.

Gregg & Ben Quilt

Conceptual & Sculptural Designers:

Alexander McQueen.

Whilst he is know as one of the most ingenious designers of our time, he did not just created beautiful clothing, with the performance of the catwalk shows can performance art, with the act of designing came the performance of creation. The two films below display his skill as both an artist and a designer.


Fort Makers: The Dress Project.

A collective of artists based in Brooklyn, Fort Makers make functional interactive art. Naomi Clarke creates large abstract paintings, after painting onto fabric the fabric was then turned into to dresses, scarves, pillows & more.

The Dress Project. Fort Makers


 Johan Ku.

As a designer Johan Ku is known for his chunky sculptural knits. Whilst clothing is created to be worn, I can’t help feeling that for some designers the clothing is about experience, the wearer is interactive and experiencing the artform that has been created.


Finally I must not leave the post without mentioning:

Hussein Chalayan.

As a designer he constantly pushes boundaries in both the technology and the concept of his collections. His shows continue the theme of each collection and performance becomes the ultimate presentation of his work.

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