Thursday 23 — Friday 24 April 2020
Textile and Place 2020
Textile and Place 2020 explores the politics of textiles. Hosted by Manchester School of Art, the conference builds upon the debates from the first Textile and Place conference which took place in 2018.
The conference explores how textiles describes and maps places through traditional methods of making, through memory and through site-specific and community-based practices. It examines how textiles carries within its fabric and in its production, the stories of trade, the transmission of histories, the crossing of cultural boundaries, of migration, and postcolonialism. We use the word politics as a broad term to indicate how textiles is implicated in particular places and is part of the relationships between groups or organisations and used to confront issues of power. Textiles can fix us to a place and also be part of the process of making change.
The conference seeks to examine how textiles enables connections between sociability and communities; is a medium of protest and engages with alternative narratives; participates in economies of production, and the environment. Providing context for discussion is Manchester’s rich textiles histories as well as today’s political challenges which are contributing to shaping our everyday lives.
Dr Fionna Barber is Reader in Art History at the Manchester School of Art. She is a contributor to Textile, Community, Controversy: the Knitting Map (eds. Jools Gilson and Nicola Moffatt, Bloomsbury 2019) and her research interests include the politics of feminist art practice, political contexts for art in Ireland since the early twentieth century, and the development of feminist temporalities. She has published widely on these and other areas of contemporary and twentieth century art practice. Her publications include Art in Ireland since 1910(Reaktion Books 2013), the collection Ireland and the North co-edited with Heidi Hansson and Sara Dybris McQuaid (Peter Lang 2019) and ‘Brexit Wounds: Cultural responses to leaving the European Union’, a special edition of Open Arts Journal (Autumn 2019) co-edited with Eleanor Byrne. She is also the curator of the exhibition ‘Elliptical Affinities: Irish Women Artists and the Politics of the Female Body 1985-present’ for Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda, Ireland (16 November 2019- 25 January 2020) and Limerick City Art Gallery, (6 February – 12 April 2020) .
Jessica Hemmings writes about textiles. Her editorial and curatorial project, Cultural Threads, is a book about postcolonial thinking and contemporary textile practice (Bloomsbury: 2015) accompanied by a travelling exhibition Migrations (2015-2017). She is Professor of Crafts & Vice-Prefekt of Research at the Academy of Design & Crafts (HDK), University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
Assadour Markarov is Professor in Fibre Art at China Academy of Art, Hangzhou, and was Curator of Hangzhou Triennial of Fiber Art 2016.
Australian artist Vic McEwan is the curator of Tension(s) 2020, the Tamworth Textiles Triennial. He is the Artistic Director of The Cad Factory, with 15 years experience creating in-depth socially engaged arts practice. He is a board member of Music NSW, the peak body for Music in NSW, and sits on the NSW/ACT Arts and Health Leadership Group. Vic is in his second year as a PhD Candidate as a Contemporary Artist in The Faculty of Medicine and Health at the University of Sydney.
Call for Papers
Suggestions for proposals of papers, panel discussions or film features include but are not limited to:
- — Textiles as a medium of protest and activism
- — Textile sites which represent migration and globalisation
- — Narratives of community and social interaction encountered through textiles
- — Responsibility, textiles and the places we live
Please submit an abstract (up to 350 words for a 20-minute paper or 5-minute pecha-kutcha) or film synopsis (up to 350 words) for peer-review together with a short bio to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 8th of November 2019.
Successful applicants will be notified by mid-January 2020.
The papers presented at the conference will be considered for publication in a special issue of TEXTILE: Cloth and Culture.
Who Should Participate?
We welcome papers from, textile artists, artists exploring textiles among other materials, designers, academics, early career researchers, art, fashion and textile historians, curators and archivists, ECRs, PhD candidates.
We also welcome short films and audio-visual work that explore textiles and place for our ‘Film as textile site’ space.
Image credit: Kate Egan & Brendan Dawes, The Jack Plug Universe (2018)