158 New Cavendish Street
Enam Gbewonyo, Nour Jaouda, Emily Moore, Desire Moheb Zandi
Curated with Alïn-Sitoe Diallo
1. VARIABLE NOUN – Fabric is cloth or other material produced by weaving together cotton, nylon, wool, silk, or other threads. Fabrics are used for making things such as clothes, curtains, and sheets.
2. SINGULAR NOUN – The fabric of a society or system is its basic structure, with all the customs and beliefs that make it work successfully.
Fabric is a synonym for textiles; when a network of yarns transforms different strands into a useful fabric structure. One loose yarn can badly affect the properties of the entire fabric. The social fabric is a term that compares the social system with the physical qualities of yarn fabric. The demographics of an area that consists of wealth, ethnic composition, level of education, rate of employment and regional values that are combined to create the fabric of society.
Although the four artists in this exhibition are women who use fabric and cloth as a part of the armoury of their practices, this should not be mistakenly viewed with the patriarchal stereotype that textile art is predominantly ‘feminine’. Fabric is just one of the mediums utilised in the varied practices of these four artists. Sometimes they use brush and paint on canvas; other times installation, play and performance, often using drawing, printing and text as a way to make and create images. For this exhibition the focus is on the material qualities of each individual practice, the tactile, textured, complex and interwoven nature of making is where the work of these artists overlaps.
In a world where images in social media are at their most prolific, the term ‘materiality’ can often seem to fall flat. Although it infiltrates contemporary discourse it seems meaningless when viewed through the screen of a mobile phone. The materiality of fabric, painting and sculpture cannot be fully experienced and appreciated online, they are visceral substances that must be walked amongst, viewed in the flesh, appreciated in person.
All the artists in this show have a practice that is rooted in the notion of exploration. Some explore notions of place and belonging. Some are interested in issues of cultural mobility, displacement and the precariousness of cultural identity. They are all driven by the tactile process of constructing and de-constructing; some use found images and historical narratives in order to challenge conventional ideas of identity and otherness; some are in constant evolution, reacting to gestural mark making through different materials and mediums.
Art and craft are an underlying language or unwritten voice of community that evolve through the act of making and passing on skills and values. In recognition of this, FOLD is pleased to present Social Fabric, an acknowledgement not only of the recent socio-political sea change towards inclusivity in the art world, but of our need as an institution to take long-term steps to diversify our programme, put inclusivity at the top of our agenda and our place as a gallery to encourage people to view art in person, as it was made to be seen.