Welcome to the blog of Spike Dennis; an artist and sometime curator. Trained in London Spike has exhibited widely, from London to Los Angeles, and has delivered projects from Cardiff to Stockholm, for organisations including the Illustration Research network and Cardiff Design Festival amongst Others.
The Pack of Wolves have been invited to show a recording of their Punch and Judy performance from “Once Upon Again…” at Kalopsia’s new exhibition “Con-Textiles-Isation” in their Edinburgh gallery space. The exhibition will explore the intersection between performance art and textiles.
Performance and Textiles are two strands of artistic practice that rarely meet, yet here they become entwined in a manner that seeks not only to return textiles to its rightful place in the orbit of contemporary art, but also to showcase the conceptual and communicational potential of the medium.
Works by a selection of international artists will be on display and will include performance pieces interwoven with the use of classic textile techniques and textile pieces that engage both physically and conceptually with performance. There will also be live performances at the opening on the evening of the 8 August 2014.
I came across this great little video interview with Erin M. Riley the other day. I’m very familiar with Erin’s work and have had the pleasure of exhibiting alongside her in a couple of shows over the last year or so but I hadn’t seen this interview before.
For those of you who don’t know her work, Erin produces hand woven tapestries from photos that might otherwise be associated with the likes of Snapchat or Tumblr posts. Imagery often includes semi-naked women, used condoms and drug paraphernalia.
I grew up on the internet, so for me nudity is very normal, and when I was on AOL and when I was on these early chatroom things there was always this nudity, and maybe I am really desensitized to it and I am very much not shocked by it. I do know that it’s shocking but I don’t intend it to be. I intend it to be more like: “This is what’s going on!”
As an artist who also grew up on the internet and now works with textile based material processes along with contemporary (often explicit) content sourced via the internet I find I can relate to a lot of what Erin says in the video above. I was particularly interested her comments about the medium of the work removing the work from the pornographic realm.
Whilst the response of others to some of my work can be that of shock and disgust it’s good to hear that I’m not alone in my attitude and approach towards the content that I’m using as source material for my work.
Embroidered photographs aren’t a new thing; in fact there are quite a few artists combining stitch and photography at the momennt. I do like a well executed animated GIF though and these images by Japanese artist Mana Morimoto combine this digital medium with embroidered photographs to great effect.
I don’t know much about this artists work but I really like what I’ve seen on her Tumblr page so far. As I understand it she uses images found via Google search for her embroidered photographs which she then prints off, re-interprets with thread, and then digitally scans the resulting image.
I’ve been tinkering with some different grounds as I look to develop some new work. In this instance I have been playing with plastic canvas as it offers some structural qualities that can’t so easily be achieved with fabric. Unlike raw linen though it isn’t available in such fine count. This particular example works out at about 10 stitches per inch.
A new issue to consider when working with this plastic canvas is how to finish the edges. Unlike fabric it can’t be wrapped around a board to be stretched and mounted and you wouldn’t really want any of the material showing. Common consensus seems to be that an overcast stitch or whip stitch should be used to finish the edge of the material or to join two pieces. I’m not quite sure if this will work for what I have in mind but I’m going to give it a go with a couple of test pieces.
‘Like it or Not’ is a single by Australian indie band Architecture in Helsinki. I actually own one of their early albums so I’m surprised to have only just come across this video for ‘Like it or Not’.
The video has been produced by fellow Australians Maricor Maricar who are well known for their graphic style of embroidery. They combine illustrative and typographic elements with embroidery to great effect.
I’ve only ever tinkered with animating embroideries on a very small scale to create GIFs and the like. Whilst the elements in this video are relatively simple in appearance there is clearly a lot of work that has gone in to it.