Professional Practice - Blog Four

Updated: May 9, 2019

On Friday I went to Manchester to visit the Whitworth Gallery, I really enjoyed the day and it was also useful for my up and coming studio group project.

The day started off at the Whitworth gallery where I stumbled across a Morris and Co textile piece on display as a part of the Four Corners of One Cloth textile based exhibition.

It was interesting to read how Morris and Co, Thomas Wardle and John Henry Dearle all took inspiration from traditional Islamic makers. I am a fan of William Morris’ work, and the wider arts and crafts movement, but had not appreciated the influence other cultures could have had on his work. It is obvious when studying Morris designs the impact nature has had on his work but unless told I would not have guessed that traditional Islamic makers and the designs they produced would have so strongly impacted the later Morris textiles and prints.

The Morris and Co piece can be seen here in the bottom right corner of Display Case 10.

(John Henry Dearle, Morris and Co, Persian Brocatel, 1890, Jacquard-woven silk.)

More about the Four Corners of One Cloth Exhibition can be found here:

Further round the gallery I saw a painting by Albert Irvin. I am not familiar with his work however the use of colour and on that large a scale was hard not to be attracted to.

Albert Irvin’s profile can be found on the Royal Academy website:

Another exhibition that was on was William Kentridge, Thick Time. The moving image projections all featured the element of time as as way to make the audience think differently about what they were viewing, it certainly captured my attention. The exhibition guide says “Time is used as a material to undermine the certainty of knowledge. It is sped, up, reversed and replayed to upend conventional understandings of the world in which we live.” (Page 1, William Kentridge Thick Time Exhibition Guide.)

The projections which I felt had the most significant display of this time element was the 7 Fragments for Georges Melies collection. These short films showing Kentridge in the process of making art or causing an artistic style mess, in a multitude of time movements were really quite captivating. For some of these films I watched them three to five times each in order to get my head around the impact the time element was having on what I was viewing which was quite enjoyable. It was clear I had to watch the moving images to the point where I understood the series well enough to be able to reorder them in my mind into what would be a normal chronological order.

See below a video I took at the William Kentridge, Thick Time Exhibition.

Below is a video featuring a series of moving images from the Fragments for Georges Melies collection, as published by Art21 in 2010.

The final stop for the day was a visit to the Manchester Museum. Also owned by the University of Manchester like the Whitworth Gallery it houses a wide variety of objects in different display collections and it was here that I saw the animal collection. It featured a variety of different bird specimens providing visual research for the up and coming The Bird House studio group project.

The full range of animals that feature in the collection can be discovered here:

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