Cloth, 2002-19

Cloth, 2002-19

A series of 39 single and double-layered gelatin silver films recording the shadows of muslin (cotton) fabric without a camera. Each film and film sandwich is encapsulated in a Mylar envelope inscribed with a laser-engraved number. Displayed backlit atop light tables. Unique objects.

The weaving and felting of cloth is as integral to the flourishing of our species as farming and art. Cloth-related tropes permeate our language and thought – from stringing ideas and the emperor who has no clothes to the world-wide-web. In a multitude of products fabrics contribute to our health, our comfort and the social tissue binding us together. But the manufacture, distribution and disposal of textile products are also major drivers of land clearing, biodiversity decline, particulate and chemical pollution and the carbon dioxide emissions responsible for ocean acidification and climate change. The economic mantle of yarn is tearing at the biosphere’s fabric. Twisted, stretched, rolled, folded and ripped, the muslin (cotton) material seen here casts shadows redolent of topographic grid models, laminar flows and atmospheric vortices, modernist abstraction, strange creatures, fur, veils, phantoms and death shrouds. Metaphors for the tragedy of an unraveling world and entanglements we are yet to unpick.

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