Pattern and colour

There’s an exhibition on at Birmingham Art Gallery which I have visited on several occasions, and although it’s not huge it’s been an education for me in African textiles .These are specifically from Ghana, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, and there are beautiful and eccentric examples of woven, printed, embroidered and dyed cloth on show. The use of pattern and the subjects chosen for the patterns really interested me, so here are a few images.

I love the way these long lengths of fabric are displayed in the gallery.

In the distant showcases are  finely woven fabrics and garments, subtle and beautiful. The metallic costume at the end is more bling than subtle.

The eyes are slightly terrifying, but I love the fact the birds are escaping.

The pale cloth is the fabric as it looks before being indigo dyed. It’s painted and printed with a resist of cassava flour paste, and as  a friend and I agreed, is beautiful as it is.

I like the cd and laptop design a lot. The more brightly coloured scissors print is Chinese; apparently designs are frequently stolen and printed in an inferior way.

I like to see fresh work like these prints, especially, to remind me to introduce some new elements into my work. I’ve used images of our [old] tv in one piece of work in the past, and may introduce some more technology references after seeing those laptops.

Off to actually watch the tv now, the Olympics call.

2 thoughts on “Pattern and colour

  1. Steph, I think I err towards the traditional rather than the modern prints, especially the indigo dyed piece. I’ve tried to find other ways to make a paste resist and believe potato starch seems to work but I have not had the opportunity to try it yet. I bet the gallery looks wonderful with all this colour in it, a surface designer’s dream!

  2. The indigo prints are beautiful, and subtle, as are the the woven pieces which I haven’t shown. I found the imagery and colours, some of the latter which I wouldn’t actually choose to put together myself, quite inspiring and exciting, as I do like a big bold shape!

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