CuratorSpace Artist Bursary #19: Aimee Spilsted

Aimee Spilsted works in textiles, wood and ceramics. Salvaged and vintage fabrics and wood are key for ecological reasons and to achieve ambiguous tactile qualities. Pieces are deconstructed layered and reassembled and bound together using venerable methods of stitch, mending and repair. The original colouration of fabrics are retained, alongside earth and plant dyes, natural chalk paint, and wax. Rust tubes, salt sprays and burnt wood techniques are used to develop texture and patination. Clay is hand-built, press-cast and kiln-fired with glazes that mimic distressed textures and worn out colours.

"I am fascinated with historical textiles, the make do and mend culture, and the deep connections we have with our materials. The collections, cataloguing and conservation work at the Silk Museum and Paradise Mill in Macclesfield guide the direction of my current work. I would like to shine a spotlight on the mills' silk heritage and iconic Jacquard looms in their original setting. The evocative lustre of the silk, loom artefacts worn smooth from the once ritual-like practical use, jacquard punched cards dotting unusual patterns of light on the wooden floorboards, and the tangible sense of history are of particular interest.

This project delves into connections between the stories of the people that worked in the mill and those who give their time to preserve and share this heritage. My objective is to develop a series of work to ideally exhibit in the Silk Museum and other Textile Mill spaces like it, to highlight the importance of their role in shaping the UK's history and culture. New work could comprise of large disc ring like forms reminiscent of mill stones and loom weights, covered in black and charcoal reclaimed silk and cotton fabrics, and forged together with kantha style stitches, following the circular shape of the forms."

You can see more of Aimee's work on her CuratorSpace profile.


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