Assemblage is proud to announce the successful projects and exhibitions who have been awarded the opportunity to exhibit in partnership with the organisation at its project space. This initiative is made possible under the auspices of The African Arts Trust grant funding towards the materialization of projects/exhibitions at Assemblage’s project space for the last quarter of 2017 and first half of the 2018 calendar year.
Introducing Janet Wilson, a former in studio artist from Assemblage.
Wilson has been awarded a 4 week residency which commences from 15 November - 7 December 2017. The residency is a process focused on Janet's sewing technique.
Although trained as a printmaker, Janet’s artistic practice has expanded to include working with textiles. As she says, “I have been learning to sew since I was a child. The sewing machine that I use was my parents’ gift to me on my 21st birthday. My mother-in-law passes on tips for better sewing. She also passed on her old heavyweight Singer to me. I keep a thimble that belonged to my great-grandmother!” Sewing techniques may be learnt and proficiency can improve with practice. For Janet, these techniques are so ingrained that they inform her artistic practice. So much so, that her first step in making an artwork is always to ask, “Couldn’t I rather sew this?” Ongoing concerns are the use of colour, as well the medium and methods used. An exploration of portraiture in her Fine Art MA resulted, paradoxically, in a shift away from representational imagery. This is evident in her large format screen-prints, which comprise bold colour fields in stripes and squares. Her current work in textiles continues this trajectory, whilst reflecting on her relationship to the city of Johannesburg, the place in which she lives and works.
Description: The route that I drive in the morning intersects with that of a fleet of taxis that shuttles between Hillbrow and the Johannesburg General Hospital. Each taxi is numbered with a stick-on decal. These stickers are different from many others that I have seen: they include also the hand signal that denotes a local route. While the taxis themselves come in many different colours, the decals are most often yellow with red writing. The cheery colour combination and the sense of direction and purpose that the stickers denote, belie the drudge of a daily urban commute. I chose to use these stick-on decals as the starting point for this series of textile artworks. I have completed eight initial pieces, roughly 50 x 50cm, consisting two layers of fabric, with the number and circle hand stitched using a technique of reverse appliqué. These will be combined with larger pieces of fabric to make up a work that measures roughly 150 x 200 cm.
Follow the link to find out more about the African Arts Trust: http://www.theafricanartstrust.org