Last autumn I was commissioned by Contemporary Applied Arts gallery (CAA) to photograph textile artist Ali Holloway at work on her pieces for her exhibition 'Commons: the rhythm of a walk'. Commons is inspired by the walks Ali was taking during lockdown, and takes the sounds from these walks and translates them into pattern and texture in textiles.
It was wonderful to spend time with Ali to photograph her at work, to learn more about her process and the pieces themselves. Due to the lockdown situations in the UK around that time I was tasked with capturing photographs that could be used not only to promote the planned physical exhibition at the gallery space in Marylebone, London, but that could also allow those who might not be able to visit in person the opportunity to experience the work in some way online, or even form the basis of an online exhibition if needed.
I'm really pleased that the exhibition opened yesterday, 9 June, and continues until 26 June 2021 at CAA in Marylebone, London, so if you are able, do pay it a visit! I've included a few of my favourite images from the day below, but I encourage you to visit CAA's site to find out more.
"Over the past year, weaver Ali Holloway has been exploring the eight remaining pieces of common land in Hackney and has made a series of textile pieces as a response to these walks. Her starting point was a collection of sound recordings she made of her walks. From the sound waves she derived pattern and rhythm which she wove into the cloth, so placing these journeys in the very structure of the fabric.
This exhibition interprets both the sound recordings of her walks and also celebrates the topology of the shapes and boundaries of each of the common spaces. Larger pieces are made with tactile and textured yarns, paper, horsehair and with 3D protrusions woven in red. This red is threaded through these pieces, woven and stitched taking the yarn in a journey through the cloth. It is the colour of life and death and used as protection on journeys.
She traced the boundaries of the land with her feet investigating shapes that have remained constant through time and transcribed these into small delicate silk, stainless steel and wool pieces. These commons are remnants of a medieval world where people were deeply connected to the land, never built on and there for all to share.
In the 1860s the borough purchased the Hackney commons to protect them from enclosure, preserving these green spaces for the growing urban population.
At a time when the environment is ever more fragile and the restriction of access to open spaces has been highlighted by the pandemic, common land is back on the agenda. Privatisation of public space is still an issue. Land needed for leisure, food production, housing, for a common land that nurtures identity and a sense of belonging. The continuing existence of the commons is a reminder of our collective past, links to a lost world and an elemental relationship to the land.
This collection of textile pieces is a celebration of the land under all of our feet, fought for and preserved by the people of Hackney."
'Commons - the rhythm of a walk' is on display at Contemporary Applied Arts 9 - 26 June 2021
6 Paddington Street
Wed - Fri: 11am - 5pm
Sat 11am - 4pm
Hi, I'm Jayne Lloyd, a professional photographer based in Essex, UK. If you would like to speak to me about working together please don't hesitate to get in touch. I work with many museums and galleries as I have experience and understanding of their unique requirements and offer a full range from reportage to installation photography. I'm keen to help organisations and makers who are looking to enhance their online presence with their own library of professional photographs.
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