This week we are excited to have one of our newest members Polly Pollock talk about her fascinating practice.
I’ve been looking at several ongoing themes in my work over the past few years around homemaking and nurture, protection, damage and repair. I combine basketry and stitched textile techniques and work mainly with dyed paper yarns – I often use gentle ‘eco’ dyes which give soft and muted colour palettes. I like to add in scraps of other materials eg thread, string and yarns, raffia etc. often using up scraps of left-over materials from other pieces of work. I try to ensure in small ways to avoid contributing to the mounting levels of waste in the world today.
“Nests” 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 cluster together relating 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, which began 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.
It was very exciting to have “Once in a While” selected for the Vlieseline Fine Art Textiles Award.
I continue to explore these themes, and am beginning to investigate other basketry and textile techniques, but still making small “hand’ size forms which stand alone, or cluster together groups