Textile Study Group

artists and tutors sharing ideas imagination and skills

Polly Pollock


Artist statement

Coiled basketry and stitched textile techniques come together in my work exploring themes of homemaking and nurture, damage, protection and repair.

I work almost entirely with fine paper yarns which I dye using gentle eco-dyes, often produced from my vegetable peelings, tea leaves, etc, to give soft and gentle colour palettes. I try to ensure in small ways through my work to avoid contributing to the mounting levels of waste in the world today.

"Nests", which evolved from two recent sabbatical periods in Amsterdam, are rounded basketry forms with subtle changes in colour, texture and form. Like a family, or community of weaver birds, these intimate, protective nest forms relate to each other, yet have individual strength to stand independently.

Recent 'Nests' are more complex and densely layered. The inclusion of knotted strands (referencing Quipus, ancient Andean accounting devices made from knotted yarns) represent recording and holding onto many positive moments within what at times are the seemingly impossible complexities of family relationships. These knotted strands also suggest the beautiful accents of colour and textures of lichens found on twigs birds collect to build their nests.

"Once in a While" is another ongoing project, evolving from thinking about damage and repair. I include many paper yarns left over from making 'Nests' to make these pieces, forming threads of connectivity between these two distinct yet closely linked projects.

Seemingly random, each small piece explores weave and stitch, tensions and textures within a defined space. In addition the irregular 'warp' structures, and sometimes fragmented yet intricate weaving, suggests damage and wounds, but also becomes darning and repair. As well as symbolising the sometimes fragile internal functionings of home and family, within a chaotic external world, the individual pieces can stand alone; equally, when these pieces are displayed in a regular grid-like structure a sense of order and calm can be created.


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