Caroline Broadhead, Claire Barber & Victoria Danville
18 April - 31 May 1998
Tempered was a group show featuring three textile artists: Claire Barber, Victoria Danville and Caroline Broadhead. The show explored textile art within the context of the concurrent art/craft debate.
Tempered featured specially commissioned innovative works by three prominent textile artists: Caroline Broadhead, Claire Barber and Victoria Danville. Using their textile related skills, each created a site-specific installation that responded to the environment for which it is made – an unconverted, former regency church.
By describing themselves as ‘textile artists’, Broadhead, Barber and Danville challenge the conventional boundaries separating ‘art’ and ‘craft’. Traditionally crafts have been regarded as purely functional or decorative objects, whereas in the fine arts it has been the creative and emotional impulse, the idea behind the work, that is of primary importance.
The exhibits in Tempered were made using established and new craft techniques and they were all conceived with artistic ambition in mind: to elicit emotional response; to convey and to conjure mood.
Claire Barber’s untitled piece consisted of white turkey feathers suspended on nylon thread above the North Balcony and photographic transparencies on the central floor area. Victoria Danville’s piece Unreasonable Behaviour presented printed PVC pillows filled with feathers and cotton scrim, on the West end of Fabrica’s floor. Caroline Broadhead’s work Invisible Dress was formed of garments made from silk, nylon and iron wire, suspended from the East Balcony.
This exhibition, subtitled Captured Moments – Textual Fragments – Human Presence, represented both a response to Fabrica’s space and an ongoing dialogue about the place of textiles in the world of art and in our own lives.