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Unpicking and rebinding

  • Archives, books and textiles
  • 31 October 2013
  • 10-5pm

Unpicking and rebinding is a one-day exhibition by Les Bicknell, NUA Senior Lecturer in Textile Design.

The artworks on display form part of Bicknell’s response to an Arts Council funded project which explores the role of the fold within historical and contemporary textiles and printed material held in heritage collections within the Eastern region.

The pieces on show are made in response to a number of objects held within three archives; The Textile and Costume Collection at Norwich Museum, Museum of East Anglian Life (MEAL) and Suffolk County Council Archive. The new work is shown alongside photographs of some of the many objects that have inspired him.

Bicknell has mapped his exploration through the collection and looks at the opportunities for creative starting points that the objects provide and how connections can be made between the pieces and subsequent art work. One particular link made is that between the construction of the smock through the process of smocking, and the ploughed land worked by the people who wore the smocks.

The new work focuses on the idea of the fold, its role and purpose; the opportunity of concealment, decoration and practical applications, celebrating the skill and craft of book binding and stitching but also seeking to challenge traditional ways of working to make intriguing and fascinating contemporary objects.

The exhibition sets out to find links, encouraging people to think about how the collections could be used and to consider how individuals could work with the material in new ways, inspiring them to make new work, learning from the past to make work in the present for the future.


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©Les Bicknell, Senior Lecturer Textile Design, Norwich University of the Arts

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