Ali Holloway – England

Artists Statement – April 2017

Much of my work starts with a walk and an exploration of the layers of human experience that have been imprinted over time on a particular landscape. In 2013 I walked the 64 miles of the River Lea from its source to where it eventually joins the River Thames at Limehouse and then wove pieces to recall the colours, textures, moods and rhythm of the journey. The pieces woven for the Landscape of Beauty exhibition were made after several months of walks round the estate and intend to invoke the ancient trees found in the parkland surrounding Forty Hall, trees that have born mute witness to the passage of time.

Walking lends itself to the act of weaving, the rhythmic movement of putting one foot in front of the other corresponds to the rhythmic traverses of the shuttle going back and forth. In this mechanical act the progress of a thread can be followed as it travels across the warp on the loom, back and forth, under and over, slowly revealing a bigger picture.

And so the in the making of cloth the physical act of walking can be (literally) made material. I attempt to explore the idea that a piece of cloth like a journey and a story has a beginning, middle and end and in its creation woven cloth can be embedded with this notion of narrative.

I am currently working on two different series of weavings both drawn from very different ideas, one an urban walk along Kingsland Road in Hackney and the other along the Thames estuary from Tilbury Docks out to the sea, but both with similar intent, to discover and uncover the traces left behind by the past and to respond in material form.

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