I spent most of today writing my METHOD paper. I began by summarising my research and practice, then outlining some of the key themes – bricolage & bricoleur, maker culture & hacking – discussing how each of these is a key aspect of my identity as an artist and how the identity of the artist is closely tangled with their practice. I refined my practice diagram to something more cyclical:
I have tried to explain each stage of the cycle and how these might each be useful modes of analysis – for example: copying as a method of close looking; remixing as a method of opening new aspects. I have then outlined some examples of how I’m applying each stage to my research approach.
Today, I’ve also had a paper accepted for 2019: Domestic Dress & Textiles Conference (Blackwork Embroidery: an overview of a fragile archive). It’s only a short introduction to collection paper but I hope this will give me the chance to outline an overall stylistic chronology of the evolution of the Blackwork technique.
A further development….
SN sent me some photos today of an appliqué piece that was brought into the V&A for an appraisal last year. I was curious to see it, as I’d found an appliquéd piece in the archive (T.38-1956) which is an unusual, and I thought possibly unique, example of Blackwork being repurposed at a later date, the Blackwork embroidery having been carefully cut out and appliquéd onto a piece of 18th C. silk (we were able to date the silk from its selvedge colour).
When I had spoken to SN about it a few weeks ago, she mentioned that somebody had brought in a similar appliquéd piece – but it turns out to be even more interesting than just another example of repurposing Blackwork. This appliqué piece has an almost IDENTICAL motif to the insect sleeve in the collection (T.11-1950), worked at a different scale! This is an incredible development as it’s an opportunity to compare the embroidery like-for-like, but it also implies that the existence of a common pattern source.