Time: An exhibition of Textiles & Photography

Time to stop, Time to notice, Time to remember, Time to appreciate, Time to reflect.

January feels just the right time of year to be holding this exhibition. Over the festive period, once we get actual Christmas day out of the way, we do stop and take stock of the year just gone. Hasn’t it gone fast; haven’t the kids grown; we’ve still not got the bathroom floor done.
This January feels particularly poignant as we lost ‘Uncle Alan’ on New Year’s Day following a heart attack on Christmas Day. It was a shock to us all. He was a seemingly healthy man with a big heart and a big personality. He wasn’t my uncle but my partner’s but he was the closest thing my kids had to a granddad and as his own son is yet to have kids, they were the closest thing he had to grandkids. They filled the void for each other; filled it full of drawings and laughter. He kept all their hand drawn cards and when asked, my kids said their favourite memory was sitting chatting and drawing with him. He was no great artist but that time spent together was what was special. The image on the Time exhibition poster is from my piece How Do You Like Them Apples? ; a series of textile apples exploring at ageing. Unfortunately not all get to run the course, becoming compost before their time. 

January is the traditional time for resolutions following the stopping and reflecting. Health & wellbeing is often high on the agenda. Better diet, more exercise, less stress. Making time to see friends and family more often is another. This year cutting down plastic waste seems a common resolution as plastic pollution of our seas and beaches has been regularly reported in mainstream media and is becoming of widespread concern rather than just the eco-warriors.

Much of my work explores waste and finding value and purpose in the old and the discarded. In my Beached series uses old office wear as a base to create work inspired by the coastal textures created by the juxtaposition of erosion and decay and the new growth of lichen, seaweed and colonies of shellfish. The title refers to both the location and the state of being washed up, left behind. The most recent work I have been developing is a collection of textile and concrete sculptures created by casting plastic waste and embedding the embellished recycled clothing. There is an accompanying series of photographs depicting the similarities of natural forms and coastal debris discarded by man.

This is a new series and I look forward to sharing it for the first time at the exhibition at Arc.

So may I please add, Time to take action to our list of provocations: say no to a straw and go see your gran.

by Nerissa Cargill Thompson, Jan 2018