TEXT-ile with Matthew Harris

A project exploring the creative potential of the calligraphic mark

3-5 July – £325 plus £5 per day lunch (optional)

This project takes as its starting point TEXT, the visual language of words. In particular it is about hand written or calligraphic text, whether your own or someone else’s, and its potential to convey a message or meaning beyond the spelled out words. In many respects handwriting is a form of drawing, one that has evolved from signs, symbols and codes over millennia. Over time language systems have developed allowing us to convey meaning through groups of essentially abstract shapes that form alphabets.

Textile references are deeply embedded in our culture, history and everyday language. The structures and processes of textile in particular appear time and again. We speak of the fabric of something, of spinning yarns, weaving tales and narrative threads. There is undoubtedly a symbiotic relationship between the ways in which we think and express ideas with words, and the ways in which we construct and form textile materials with our hands. It is this relationship between textiles and language that we will be exploring in this project. In particular the relationship between textiles and the hand written word will form the starting point for an exploration of textile processes and materials.

Starting with drawing we will be looking at ways in which you can ‘play’ with writing. By taking individual words or sentences we will begin to explore both narrative and abstract elements of form and pattern, scale, shape and structure through a series of drawing exercises. We will look at ideas of repetition and legibility, at what point is any meaning lost, at what point do words become illegible. These drawings will form the starting point for two and three dimensional textile experimentation.

Matthew Harris - Calligraphic Marks in Textiles 1

Matthew Harris

Matthew Harris - Calligraphic Marks in Textiles 2

Matthew Harris class

The film below was made during Matthew’s class in 2015 at Big Cat Textiles.

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Matthew Harris - Calligraphic Marks in Textiles 3

Matthew Harris