Laura ThomasWoven / Unwoven
Thread is a powerful metaphor, a material laden with symbolism and a basis for a craft language understood the world over. We find myths, stories and tales from myriad cultures and time immemorial leaning upon these metaphors to tell us something about being human. For me, perhaps the most arresting is the story of the Three Fates in Greek mythology: Clotho spun the thread of life, Lachesis measured it and Atropos determined where it should be cut.
The poetry of the unwoven thread and my guiding it along a particular path, is but a drawn line in another form. It’s interesting to note that the English word ‘line’ derives from the use of a linen (flax) thread used to determine a straight line. A thread as a unit of measurement, a tool to demark space, a plumb-line or as a marker of an edge is potent.
This exhibition represents a distillation of all my areas of interest in working with thread, making both woven and unwoven works. The transformation of passive threads, metaphors for fate, held taut on a loom to be woven into a fabric or placed into position to be encapsulated in glass or resin, has kept me transfixed for over two decades and is at the very root of this collection of works.
I use threads as lines to evoke what captures my attention in the world around me, whether that be the horizon as I gaze out to sea, the edge of a hillscape where land meets sky, a full moon, or the minutiae within coastal strata’s and sand patterns that I have observed since childhood.
The textile artworks were created intuitively and are intended to present a quiet, visual meditation; a reaction against the chaos and uncertainty of recent times. There are gentle rhythms, glimpses beyond the surface and evocative textures to capture our curiosity and ground busy minds.