Taking Up Needle And Yarn

Works by Celia Pym and Diana Taylor

17 March – 1 April 2017 Thursday, Friday Saturday 12- 6pm

Private View: Thursday 16 March 2017 6 – 8pm

The Centre for Recent Drawing is pleased to present works by two contemporary artists who use textiles as part of their practice.

The artists are linked by their awareness of ruin and impermanence; Pym seeks to fill holes and repair worn items, while Taylor’s work uses images of ancient objects and architecture which have been eroded by time. Both artists share a fascination with museum collections and objects left behind from past civilisations.

This is intuitive work; Pym is guided by shifting the dimensions of individual threads, and Taylor driven by images on layers of textile, both building their own new stratigraphy. The movement of the hand in stitching thread into canvas and knitting a swatch has a shared lineage with the fluidity of the hand-drawn line.  

In Taylor’s work, images of Ancient Cypriot grave goods are reduced to their most simple tonal forms, screen-printed onto bare canvas and stitched into. Machine sewn lines follow geographical plans from the Ancient site of Kourion, Cyprus where the artists mother is from. Interlaced with these plans are grids, which are those often used for needlework and cross-stitch patterns. On top of these layers sits cross stitching, reproducing patterns found in mosaic borders and found fabrics with bold digital prints. Taylor grew up surrounded by her mothers’ tapestries, embroideries and cross-stitch pictures, which now seep into her work.

Colour Work is a new piece of work by Pym centred around colour and pattern and persistence and practice, and inspired by the irregularity of pattern she encounters in darning. Using Jamieson’s DK and Shetland Spindrift yarn, wool traditionally used for Fair Isle knitting she knits rectangles of pattern without a precise plan. She is guided by numbers (3-1-3), by a feeling of trying not to look at what she knits, just counting stitches, and keeping her eyes up. Often finding that one piece of knitting would influence the next, Pym changes the thickness of stripes or the lean of the diagonal. As she progressed, the main thing was exhausting the colours, knitting until the colour was all used up.

Celia Pym studied Sculpture at Harvard University and Textiles at The Royal College of Art, London. She is a qualified nurse and teaches part time as a visiting lecturer in textiles at Royal College of Art. She lives and works in London. Pym makes darned garments, knitted and embroidered textiles and public textile events. Selected exhibitions & collaborations include: Love the Yarn: Festival of Love with Lasmin Salmon, 2015, Royal Festival Hall Southbank Centre, London; What Do I Need to do to Make it OK?, 2015-2018 Pump House Gallery, London, and touring; 59 Sorties, 2016, with Nouveau Musee National de Monaco; Parallel Practices Residency (Crafts Council/Kings Cultural Institute), 2014-2016, with Dr Richard Wingate exploring anatomy and mending in KCL’s Dissecting Room.

Diana Taylor graduated from the Slade School of Fine Art (2010) with an M.F.A in Painting. She was awarded the Abbey Scholarship in Painting at the British School at Rome in 2011. Other residencies include East London Printmakers, CCA Andratx, and Modern Art Oxford, during which her painting practise expanded to combine needlework hangings.

Alice Bygraves is a freelance curator who has over eight years’ experience working in museums and galleries. She spent two years working at the British School at Rome with artists and took part in archaeological excavations. She is Director of Geddes Gallery, a nomadic space which was first housed in KC Continental deli on Caledonian Road.

For more information and images please contact Alice Bygraves: info@aleeechay.com