Social network I and II are two soft sculptures made out of hand knitted, see through monofilament. It’s actually fishing line! It was fascinating to knit with technically, and also aesthetically. There is an interesting change in control as the monofilament is very hard to knit with. It has to be controlled in different ways to knitting with wool, yet once it’s knitted, certain qualities of the plastic makes it take on a different form, like a spontaneous drawing in space. It has a mind of its own! The almost transparent line is also transformed, as it’s knitted, into something ‘other’, ethereal and sparkling. Both pieces were knitted on large circular needles as tubes of knitting, but when they’re installed the stretchy structure of the knitting enables them to be sculpted into many different forms using tension.
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All the babies I might have had I is a red hand knitted and felted soft sculpture which resembles a web. To date it has been installed five times by suspending it; it relies on gravity and tension to transform it into a sculptural piece. However, when it is not suspended it still has some sculptural form. The reference to ‘tension’ when applied to knitting is apposite!
I knitted it as part of my final piece for my Art Foundation course in 2011, when I began to understand that it was possible to make conceptual art with knitting. It was a revelation, and very liberating. I knitted it in pure wool, knitting a series of holes radiating out from the centre. I used double pointed needles and hundreds of safety pins as stitch holders. I was truly ambivalent about felting it as it was fabulous as a knitted piece, and obviously also much larger. However, at that point, I decided I wanted my work to be less recognisable as knitting, and more sculptural, so I felted it. I am so glad I did as it became something ‘other’.
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noun: lack of calm, peace, or ease; anxiety;
disquiet is an exhibition of recent paintings and sculptures by Clare Thatcher and Lou Baker, who are showing together for the first time at Walcot Chapel in Bath. Although they use very different materials and processes they recognise similarities in their work and, for this exhibition, they have made some new pieces in response to one another’s work.
You’re warmly invited to the private view on Saturday 22nd September from 2 - 5pm.
If you can’t make the private view, the exhibition runs from Tuesday 18th to Sunday 23rd September, and is open daily from 11-5. Both artists will be working in the space throughout the exhibition so come and meet them.
Walcot Chapel, Walcot Gate, Bath BA1 5UG
For more information about their work please visit their websites and follow them on social media:
Clare Thatcher www.clarethatcher.wordpress.com
Lou Baker www.loubakerartist.co.uk
Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @loubakerartist