Thursday, April 14, 2011

SUBTRACTION - ERASURE - CONJECTURE

2011 Maiwa Textile Symposium Workshop
Michael Brennand-Wood
(Maiwa Loft - Net Loft Granville Is.)
$250 (Includes $30 Lab Fee)    Two full days - Class Limit 12  
September 5 - 6 (Mon - Tue) 10am - 4pm


This workshop will provide a rare opportunity to work closely with accomplished artist and curator, Michael Brennand-Wood. Michael joins us from the United Kingdom.


In a small class environment, students will work directly with Michael to explore both physical and conceptual deconstruction.

The workshop will question the fundamental relationship between subtractive and interpretive practice. In general, we focus on additive processes, the generation of accumulative information. But what happens if we take an existing image or theme and subject it to a process of systematic reduction? What strategies and critical analysis might we employ? At what point does the erasure of physical material and thematic information morph into something new and unexpected?

As a basis for experimentation, each participant will bring an object, image, idea, or theme that they wish to subject to a process of deconstruction and interpretation. Suitable objects might be textiles: an item of clothing, carpet, hat, or curtain. But other objects are also appropriate: an appliance, a piece of furniture, a frame, a light, a tool, basket, or book.

The choice is open. Ideally a starting object should be challenging and contain enough possibilities to investigate over the course of two days. The object might be obscured, erased, overlaid, cut, veiled, removed in a variety of ways using techniques such as cut work, appliqué, shadow quilting, darning, mending, gathering, wax resist, dyeing, or pieced work.

As a point of reference, textiles found within museum collections offer a rich source of fragmentary information, residual visual clues that imply lost content and missing context.

Participants may present a sequence of experimentation that articulates their thinking and thought processes. Michael’s interested in the strategies and critical analysis that students employ over the two days. Documentary processes that chart an object or idea’s demise and reconfiguration will inevitably encompass photography, text, drawing, and collage.

Critique and group discussion will be an important component of the course. Participants need to be open-minded and willing to experiment with scale, concept, and media. They will be encouraged to develop original solutions in relation to the core aims of the workshop – this is not a technical or prescriptive course.

Emphasis will be placed on the investigation and research of personal imagery and the development of related technical innovation, ideas that can be developed at a later stage. Above all it will be an experience, both fun and perplexing in equal amounts.

Michael Brennand-Wood will give a lecture on Saturday, September 10.


Michael Brennand-Wood

is internationally regarded as one of the most innovative and inspiring artists working in textiles. He is a visual artist, curator, lecturer, and arts consultant. Since 1979 he has occupied a central position in the research, origination, and advocacy of contemporary International Art Textiles. He has exhibited in major galleries and museums world wide, including the Victoria and Albert Museum, the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, and National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.

He won The Creative Concept Award in 1987 and The Fine Art Award in 1989 at the International Textile Competition in Kyoto, followed by the first RSA Art for Architecture Award 1990. In 1990 he was awarded a Distinguished Visiting Fellow, British Council, City University, Kyoto, Japan. In 1992 he was 1st Prize Winner at the 3rd International Betonac Prize in Belgium.

From 2001-08 he was awarded an Arts and Humanities Research Board (AHRB) Fellowship in the Creative and Performing Arts in conjunction with the University of Ulster to research geometrical complexity in Central Asian textiles at Ulster University, Belfast. In 2007 he won the Fine Art Award, Phaff Art Embroidery Still Life in France.

Mr. Brennand-Wood’s recent activity includes two new works for the Yorkshire Cancer Centre in Leeds and the development of an interdisciplinary arts programme for Colston Hall, a music venue in Bristol. He is currently Visiting Professor at Manchester Metropolitan University. brennand-wood.com

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