Millfields South 2021

I studied weaving at Central Saint Martins, graduated in 2000 and set up a studio in Hackney where I’ve been weaving ever since. I have exhibited widely most recently at the Contemporary Applied Arts Gallery in June 2021. This collection of pieces was an exploration of the common land in Hackney which I walked, making audio recordings as I went. Then the shape of the sound waves were transposed into weave pattern so the walks are embedded in the very fabric.

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. Woven pieces have been initiated by my walks along the River Lea, on the foreshore of the Thames at Limehouse, round the parkland and gardens of Forty Hall in Enfield and around the streets of Hackney.

Dying methods are integral to my weaving. I space dye yarns to introduce random placement of colour intended to disrupt the linear structure of the woven cloth. Very often I will submerse a whole cone of yarn in a dye bath so that as the yarn is woven the colour slowly fades out until there are only occasional traces of the colour left. This sense of progression and of the journey of the yarn is embedded deeply in my method of working.

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.

An important part of my practice are the weaving classes I run where I hope to share my knowledge and love for weaving with others. Information on classes is on the weaving class page.

I can be contacted at aliholloway@mac.com



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