Written by Caroline Kipp
The Textile Society of America with the George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum are delighted to present their new program Contemporary Voices. Focused on contemporary artists, this series of talks features innovative creators whose practice draws on textile materials, techniques, or knowledge. Presented in a semester based format, the series will consist of eight talks divided between the Spring and Fall seasons.
The series will kick off on February 2nd with Anne Wilson, who among her many accomplishments and honors, is a 2017 TSA Fellow award recipient. Grounded in a textile language, Anne Wilson’s work embraces conceptual strategies and handwork using everyday materials — table linen, bed sheets, human hair, lace, thread, glass and wire.
On March 2nd, Diedrick Brackens will present. The 2018 recipient of the TSA Brandford/Elliot Award for Excellence in Fiber Art, Brackens’ presentation will explore his evolving utilization of craft to investigate notions of ritual, care, intimacy and survival. Meticulously hand-dyed and woven from the historically fraught material of cotton, Diedrick Brackens’ textiles portray Black figures in grand, saturated and mythic landscapes. His work employs an ever-expanding constellation of symbols that gesture to the complexities of contemporary American life.
On April 6th, Los Angeles-based artist Guillermo Bert will present on his recent artistic projects, including the Encoded Textiles series. Working with traditional Mapuche, Navajo, Maya, Mixtec and Zapotec weavers, Bert creates QR codes woven into textile designs. These “high tech” codes, when scanned with a smartphone, take the viewer into a filmic world of story, myth and reflection by indigenous elders, activists and poets.
On May 4th, Ai Kijima will explore her 30-year artistic practice. Kijima’s distinctive works are chaotic collages: amalgamations of found material painstakingly stitched into evocative cross-cultural patchworks. Through quilting, she fuses traditional techniques with pop culture iconography to create work that is both nostalgic, and playfully fresh.
While Contemporary Voices is a new venture, the history of the TSA and The Textile Museum are quite intertwined. In the 1970s, The Textile Museum organized gatherings focused on textile scholarship, aptly named the Irene Emery Roundtables. After the museum decided to discontinue the series, it was clear to many folks that there was still a desire to convene, and advance textile scholarship within the United States. In 1987, the Textile Society of America was created to meet this need. With their aligned missions, and interwoven histories, this newest venture is a continuation of both organizations commitment to foster knowledge and appreciation of textile and fiber arts.
TM Contemporary Voices programs (all) https://museum.gwu.edu/programs?field_tags_tid%5B%5D=8346
Diedrick Brackens https://museum.gwu.edu/contemporary-voices-diedrick-brackens
Guillermo Bert https://museum.gwu.edu/contemporary-voices-guillermo-bert