There is no denying that for many, or most of us our understanding and knowledge of textile techniques is closely linked to our relationships with other women. The strength of traditions passed down from mother to daughter or carried on through guilds, sewing circles and other organisations has been crucial to the survival of so many textile arts and forms a thread which connects generations of women across thousands of years.
To celebrate international women’s day I was joined by the incredible Alicia Jane Boswell this week on TextileStories, who discusses her yearning to learn textile techniques while a graduate student and the strong sense of home which these skills gave her in what is quite a touching interview. The image above is from a body of work which Alicia Jane made in 2008 entitled “Frayed”, and the following excerpt from her artist’s statement describes how she found her inspiration looking at pockets, sewing kits and women’s work:
“Reminiscent of pockets or small pillows, this body of work is influenced by the 18th and 19th huswifs which were patch-worked oblong pockets or pouches worn hidden under a woman's dress and usually stitched from scraps of fabric, lace, or calico. I have purposely created swollen, often suggestive, and voluminous hand woven forms of black lace and frays of knotted threads pulsating away from their surfaces of champlevé enamel. These contrasted fabric and skin-like surfaces are meant to convey a sense of fragility, tension, longing and mending."
Tune in via the links below to hear more about Alicia Jane's journey into lace and bringing together of different materials and techniques to create new lace narratives.
You can see more of Alicia Jane Boswell's beautiful work here: http://aliciajaneboswell.com
Now to celebrate March 8 I would like you to leave a comment here below telling us about how your textile practice connects you to other women in the past, present or future.