09 March 2013

Connecting Threads

Written by Published in Design
Biography Basket 1
Bonakele Ngwenya of Gone Rural
Biography Basket 2
Siphiwe Mngometulu of Gone Rural
Biography Basket 3
'Gogo' Christina Mngometulu of Gone Rural
Coralie Bonnet
Flexible bamboo surface: Silver polyester threads, bamboo mat
Coralie Bonnet
Embroidered wooden desk
Siphiwe Collection by Gone Rural
Jane Harper
Three dimensional experimental hand-woven forms
Gone Rural Vases
A new collection that combines natural and recycled materials

Interwoven – a new exhibition at Habitat’s Platform gallery – pioneers new paths for the traditional art of weaving

Contemporary designs meeting traditional African weaving methods, Manchester-inspired woven metal installation pieces, large-scale wool and ceramic panels, magnetic discs that can be assembled to create versatile wallpapers and a project connecting dance, movement and weaving – all of this can be discovered at Interwoven.

The exhibition, hosted at the Habitat Platform gallery, explores the art of weaving and showcases five female designers, Philippa Thorne from Gone Rural, Nadia-Anne Rickets, Jane Harper, Lucie Libotte and Coralie Bonnet, all of whom are Central St Martin’s graduates.

iw-8At the heart of the exhibition is the work of Philippa Thorne, creative director of Gone Rural, a social enterprise based in Swaziland. Thorne took the business over from her mother-in law, who initiated the community project that gives rural women the opportunity to sell hand-made products made of natural raw materials from their homeland. Thorne puts a strong focus upon the fact that Gone Rural has a profound effect on local communities. The initiative provides employment and an income to over 700 women, supplying grass and textile products to more than a thousand retail outlets in thirty countries, but also gives them a voice and empowers them. For Interwoven, Gone Rural created a collection of artistic woven baskets inspired by the stories of the women crafting them.

Weaving, digital technology and music inspire Nadia-Anne Rickets’ work. The former dancer fuses the complexity of sound and woven designs, combining her passions – music and textiles. Coralie Bonnet, who has previously designed accessories for Alexander McQueen, showcases abstract and artistic ceramic panels incorporating woven elements.

iw-9The work of Lucie Libotte focuses on deconstruction and reconstruction, creating patterns and bringing textiles out of their traditional use. The discs Libotte designs create wallpapers when jointed that can be changed constantly. Jane Harper’s inspiration for her woven metal installation is her hometown, Manchester, and its metal industry traditions. 

Interwoven investigates weaving techniques beyond traditional methods and promotes innovative women with pioneering ideas. Platform's curator Jenny Granger, comments ‘Habitat has had the vision to commission this exciting exhibition which brings together work from experimental young cutting-edge designers together with pieces never seen before outside of Africa.’

Interwoven is something we want to see more of – and definitely not to be missed.

Interwoven runs from 8 March - 28 April at Platform at Habitat, Kings Road, London SW3


Similar projects are developed by TBN, Grampus and Sublime Foundation.

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