Textiles surround us in our everyday lives. From the clothes we wear to cover our bodies and communicate who we are (or who we would like to be), to household linens and domestic fabrics with which we dress our homes. Textiles are everywhere and hold the memory of our existence. Ubiquitous, they are often undervalued and unseen but under certain circumstances they become totemic, charged with emotion, potent with meaning and powerful in holding memory.
Textiles can be used to convey a political message though use as protest banners or flags – fought over, burned, claimed and reclaimed by different factions. Choices of clothing are used to foster ideas of identity and difference, expression of non – normative behaviours, bonding and tribalism as well as providing a way to provoke discussion, attitude and confrontation. They can also be used in more violent ways as gags, blindfolds, masks or as constrictive garments – corsets and foot bindings.
Textiles have been used in traditional ways to express the political and personal concerns of the present – consider the AIDS quilts, banners and textile reactions to 9/11 – the narrative stitch work of the Bayeux and Overlord Embroideries of their day. Textiles are used in the early years of a child as a transitional object when they are learning to see themselves as a separate being from their mother. The familiarity of textile as a ‘comfort blanket’ means that they have also been used to enable recovery from traumatic events later in life.
This project seeks to encourage artists, practitioners, independent scholars, early career researchers, photographers, academics, performers, and writers, to intermingle and will provide platforms for interdisciplinary interactions that are fruitful and conducive to broadening horizons and sparking future projects, collaborations, and connections.
Textures of Emotions: Storytelling and Textiles
An Inclusive Interdisciplinary Conference
Friday 8th July 2022 – Saturday 9th July 2022
Call for papers, presentations and participation is now open.