Sampling: Textiles Inspired by Tradition
The Sampling department of our Summer 2008 issue features textiles inspired
by tradition. Either through their own backgrounds or their travels abroad, the
artists included are inspired by what has come before. Here we show additional
works by our featured artists.
Julia Griffiths Jones
Lily Poran was born and raised in Jerusalem
and lived there until moving to the Galilee region in 1974. Through travels to
Morocco, Uzbekistan, Turkey, and India, Poran has collected ethnographic objects
to help commemorate and preserve the memory of ancient Israel. Her works express
a yearning for the past while providing modern commentary on her homeland.
LEFT: Embroidered Teapot, 2005; china teapot, pieces of Palestinian embroidery;
7" x 9" x 6". Photo: Hadar Poran.
RIGHT: Knitted Shoe, 2003; pieces of traditional oriental knitting, mixed media;
11" x 4" x 3". Photo: Hadar Poran.
Karen Maru uses textiles to explore the
meaning of cloth in human history. Her background as a sociologist and internationalist
have lead her to explore khadi’s role in Indian and international textile
history. Maru’s quilted pieces feature interplay between heavy and light
khadi cloths that symbolizes tensions fueled by globalization.
LEFT: Khadi #1, 2006; khadi and commercial cotton; machine-pieced, machine-quilted;
44" x 68". Photo: Capital Interactive.
RIGHT: Khadi #3, 2006; khadi and commercial cotton; machine-pieced, hand-
and machine-quilted; 33" x 44". Photo: Capital Interactive.
While studying textiles at the Royal College
of Art in London, Julia Griffiths Jones won a travel scholarship to Poland
and Czechoslovakia, where she was inspired by traditional embroidery, lace, and
folk art. She later spent time furthering her folk-art studies in Czechoslovakia,
Hungary, and Romania. In 1987, an investigation into making drawing three-dimensional
led to Griffiths Jones’s current wire drawings. Each of her wire garments
has a story—some based on a favorite piece of poetry or fiction writing,
some celebrating members of her family.
LEFT: Everything Is Better Now, 2004; painted mild steel, stitched and laser-cut
aluminum; 25" x 55". Photo: Jason Ingram.
RIGHT: Stitch and Write (with detail), 2003; painted mild steel, aluminum,
fabric, thread; 35" x 52". Photo: Jason Ingram.
ISNIA is the collaborative husband and
wife team of Indonesian Agus Ismoyo and American Nia Fliam. In 1985, Ismoyo and
Fliam established the batik studio Brahma Tirta Sari. They were the first artists
in Indonesia to extensively explore the medium of Javanese batik as contemporary
textile art outside the boundaries of modern batik painting. Since 1988 the artists
have conducted numerous workshops in Indonesia and Australia with Aboriginal batik
artists. In 1994, they began an intensive collaboration with Aboriginal women
artists from the central Australian desert community of Utopia.
LEFT: Wayang Cahaya (detail), Brahma Tirta Sari Utopia Collaboration, 2000;
hand-drawn batik on silk, wayang/kawang/ Utopia motifs; 118" x 39".
RIGHT: Dialog, Collaboration with Ernabella Arts, Tjariya (Nungalka) Stanley,
Renita Stanley, Dialog, 2007; batik on silk; 88 1/2" x 57". Photo courtesy
of the artists.
Rowland Ricketts has been working
with indigo for over ten years. A 1993 graduate of Wesleyan University with a
degree in East Asian Studies, Ricketts moved to Japan as a language teacher shortly
after graduating. Two internships at Nii Indigo Farm and Furusho Indigo Dyeing,
both in Tokushima, lead Ricketts to start his own business, Ricketts Indigo Farming
and Dyeing, in Shimane in 2000. The company continued until 2003 and was put on
hold when Ricketts returned to the United States for a MFA in fibers at Cranbrook
Academy of Art, which he completed in 2005. Ricketts produces both functional
and art textiles, using ancient dyeing techniques to imbue traditional methods
with modern style.
LEFT: Untitled, 2006; paper and silk dyed with native North American plants;
plain weave; 72" x 36". Photo: Jill Greene.
CENTER: 9 Objects (detail), 2004; indigo dyed wool; handfelted; 10" x
4" x 1". Photo: Rowland Ricketts.
RIGHT: 9 Objects (detail), 2004; indigo dyed wool; handfelted; 5" x 4"
x 5". Photo: Rowland Ricketts.
Hazel Lutz is a professor of fashion and
textiles at the University of Minnesota and a Hindi speaker. She has done extensive
research on the local production of khadi cloth in weaving cooperatives in India.
Lutz’s inspiration comes from a variety of sources, including traditional
American women’s needlework techniques and khadi’s random ikat color
patterning. Her work uses symmetry and woven pattern structures to provide a modern
perspective on this traditional Indian cloth. Her company Unusual Cloth imports
handcrafted textiles from India.
LEFT: Working Within the Cloth #1, 2006; ikat weft cotton khadi; unraveling,
knitting, tying, darning; 14" x 14". Photo: Amy Anderson.
RIGHT: Scarf #1, 2006; ikat cotton khadi and vintage buttons; cutting, plying
fringes, knotting; 11" x 58". Photo: Petronella Ytsma.