A new exhibition by London-based artist and textile designer Caitlin Hinshelwood presents a series of strikingly coloured textile banners inspired by the folk practices of the UK’s historic weaving communities.
Kissing the Shuttle explores ideas of protest and resistance inherent among the industrial workforces of north-west England and Northern Ireland, as well as their camaraderie and traditional songs. Research drawn from various British institutions resulted in imagery influenced by the symbolism, speech and customs of the textile trades during and after the Industrial Revolution.
Referencing union banners, the large-scale textile pieces are screen-printed on silk in brilliant shades of orange, purple and green. Embellishments of rosettes, ribbons and fringing are reminiscent of folk costumes and historic trade union regalia.
Hinshelwood’s refreshing use of colour leads to unexpected pairings. “I always try to dye a few [base fabrics] in colours I don't like or know what to do with,” she told Stylus. “It forces me to embrace new combinations and challenge my perception of colours I ‘like’.”
Her perception is also influenced by colour-blindness. “People find it surprising… but I don't really think about it,” she says. “I just make the colours as I see them or want them to be. Sometimes I realise the colour I think I've made is different to the way someone else sees it, but I don't think that really matters.”
Held at London’s Cecil Sharp House, the exhibition runs from September 26 to January 28 2018. For more on colour perception, see Breathing Colour Exhibition.