PRISM Textiles Exhibition: ‘Warped’

On Thursday this week, I was in London and was able to attend the first day of the PRISM Textiles group exhibition, entitled ‘Warped’.

PRISM exhibition poster 2023

This intriguing show of work by 47 of the 70 PRISM group members takes place in a wonderful setting, namely The Art Pavilion in Mile End Park, London.

The Art Pavilion, Mile End Park, London

The building is full of light, not least because it is backed by an area of water, as seen in the photo below. In front, you can see Sally Spinks’ striking large-scale knitted sculpture, which subverts the idea of knitting as ‘a domestic craft that is not taken seriously’.

'Construct' by Sally Spinks, PRISM
‘Construct’ by Sally Spinks, PRISM

A number of Textile treatments are explored here, for example knitting (as above), sewing, weaving, knotting, dyeing, embroidery, beading. Another knitted piece is the witty exhibit by Barbara West, commenting on the fact that no-one is allowed to travel on an aircraft with knitting needles!

'Warped thinking: Knitting needle as an instrument of death' Barbara West, PRISM
‘Warped thinking: Knitting needle as an instrument of death’ Barbara West, PRISM

The image at the top of the post is a detail from Jo Coombs’ work, entitled ‘The Expedient Lie’, exploring the untruths that are regularly presented to us to ‘make excuses and deflect blame’. This is another work that evokes a wry smile.

The exhibit below looks at first glance as if it is a geology display in a science museum.

'Akhates I - VIII' by Tansy Blaik Kelly, PRISM
‘Akhates I – VIII’ by Tansy Blaik Kelly, PRISM

A closer view reveals complex pieces which are embroidered and beaded to suggest layers of beautiful rock formation.

'Akhates I - VIII' by Tansy Blaik Kelly, PRISM
‘Akhates I – VIII’ by Tansy Blaik Kelly, PRISM

Weaving was well represented. This piece by Anita Bruce was very striking:

'Enso I' by Anita Bruce, PRISM
‘Enso I’ by Anita Bruce, PRISM

Here is a closer look at the centre piece of the group:

'Enso I' (detail) Anita Bruce, PRISM
‘Enso I’ (detail) Anita Bruce, PRISM

This embroidery by Aran Illingworth, using machine and hand embroidery also draws the eye, with its expressive use of stitch.

'The Man and His Best Friend I' by Aran Illingworth, PRISM
‘The Man and His Best Friend I’ by Aran Illingworth, PRISM

This is just a very small selection of textile pieces from the show, shared by kind permission of PRISM.

Do visit the exhibition if you can. It runs from 20th April to 1 May 2023.

PRISM @prismtextiles

‘Dotty Throw’ uses large-scale blocks for a dramatic effect (using polka-dot fabrics is optional!). Buy the pattern here

Dotty-Throw pattern by Amanda Jane Textiles

Published by Amanda Jane Textiles

I am an artist, designer and maker living in Ramsgate, UK

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