During 1930s Spain, the very private activity of sewing became a national symbol of women’s commitment to the national project. In most cases, the positioning of their social roles was based on their abilities with a needle and thread. These found photographs of Spanish women, forever displaced from family archives, echo voices from a pre civil war Spain. Loose, disordered and incomplete stitching reverberates the chaos that was to follow.
The exhibition is a reflection on the ingenuity that enabled the invention of the sewing machine, and what that technology meant for society and the wider world.
Machines & Makers: displaying a healthy obsession for sewing machines captures the extraordinary history of a disruptive technology from the 19th Century that changed the world. The exhibition takes us through the magic of creating stitch, texture and beauty, and reflects on the disposable clothing culture of the 21st Century.
The proposition for this exhibition was to invite a response from twelve artists, each coming from a widely different skill sets and talent base, but each of them bringing a high level of intelligent thought to the invention and what that machine meant in terms of economic, political and social change within households from the 1850’s to the present day.
The artist’s various approaches can be broadly grouped into three areas of investigation – the political, social and economic differences made by the inventions, many of which are seen through the lens of memory