Shane Waltener presents an exhibition of new works specially designed for Siobhan Davies Studios
exploring the relationship between textiles and dance, making and performance, objects and their recordings. Using stitching patterns, dance notation and the building itself as inspiration, he has used this opportunity to research and develop new work with dancers and members of the public.
With Stairwell Suite, Waltener uses the stairwell as a loom, and its distinctive vertical metal framework to weave on. Waltener has collaborated with dance artist Laura Glaser to interpret stitching patterns into a set of movements. Acting as needles, or human bobbins, each dancer holding a length of yarn created a spiraling web-like structure during the opening of the exhibition while travelling up and down the staircase. Midway through the course of the exhibition, the piece will be remade in a performance taking place on February 17.
Stitching Score #1, consists of a 200+ metre long strip of fabric made from deconstructed items of clothing. The making of the strip was staged as an interactive project in 2010 involving six people operating overlocking machines that cut and stitched the clothing together simultaneously. Arranged in a daisy chain formation, a silent conversation was had between the stitchers as fabric was fed from one machine to the next. The installation invites the viewer to read the strip of fabric as a piece of notation, with its own unique grammar and symbols made up of stitch, thread and cloth.
A series of woven pictures, Ready Steady Stitch (bobbin lace), is also included in the exhibition, that combine architectural plans, stitching patterns and dance notation into templates for making bobbin lace. These works play with the idea of appropriation as different coded visual data are reinterpreted through collage and stitch. The series includes a limited edition piece using material worked with to create Stairwell Suite.
Shane Waltener is a London based artist and lecturer. A sculptor by training, his work draws inspiration from craft traditions and processes, ranging from textiles and basketry to sugarcraft. Projects by the artist, usually site responsive, often involve the public in the production of objects and installations, and aim to prompt a renewed engagement with visual art through the process of making. The artist regularly exhibits internationally and teaches at the University of the Arts, London.
Waltener is currently working on projects with the artist and makers collective Intelligent Trouble, and is co-authoring a book with Stella Harding on basketry, published by A&C Black, due out in February 2012. A book launch will be held at Siobhan Davies Studios on Friday 24 February.