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Bjork Haraldsdottir, Geometric Sculptural Vessels, Courtesy of Cavaliero Finn


LAF’s new concept section curated by Candida Stevens.

Text: edited by Mike von Joel | Images: courtesy artists | PLATFORM 2020







22 - 26 January 2020

In 2012 Stevens set up the Candida Stevens Gallery in Chichester. Her vision for Platform (Threading Forms) invited a range of galleries and artists ‘to come together and demonstrate the different ways in which textile can be used to both beautiful and meaningful effect’. The aim was to set this area of the fair apart and to actively demonstrate the art form in the making. Textiles presented as a valid fine art form just like print making, painting or drawing. The artists participating demonstrate machine and hand stitch, tapestry, deconstructed fabrics, and collage.

Stephens says: ‘Over the last few years textile art has risen from being a largely unknown and neglected arena to a trending art form. This exhibition aims to demonstrate various ways that artists can use textiles – different methodologies, different aesthetics – with thread as the common link.’

Peter Collingwood is largely considered the pre-eminent British artist weaver of the post war Modern British period, variously described as a technical innovator, teacher and mentor. At Stevens’ own gallery presentation, Alice Kettle continues the work that Collingwood started. She invited a Syrian and Ugandan refugee to respond through stitch onto two respective large works, while a series of drawn portraits by Kettle includes stitching from the same groups of women in Pakistan. These works ‘focus on memory and experience, whilst examining the notions of identity, authorship and of stitch as a medium of integration across borders and technologies’.

The West Dean Tapestry Studio will be on site demonstrating the art of tapestry weaving during of the fair. Also present are two charities, West Dean College of Arts & Education and Outside In all of which offer a new and inspirational dimension to Platform 2020.



Cavaliero Finn exhibits woven and cut tapestries by Jacy Wall alongside ceramics by Bjork Haraldsdottir. Wall’s work is an exploration of the qualities of textiles, through surfaces, pattern, structure, seams, thread and stitch. Black and white are often a backdrop to Wall’s palette with hints of red and yellow in wool and linen which she dyes herself. These works will be complemented by new geometric sculptural vessels by Haraldsdottir, with bold surface pattern, reminiscent of old Icelandic and Celtic knitting and stitch patterns.

Atelier Weftfaced is showing work by two of its represented artists: Katharine Swailes and Caron Penney. Both are among the few contemporary textile artists to use a centuries-old hand woven tapestry technique.

West Dean Tapestry Studio. Throughout the Fair, the space will host a live performance of ‘textile art in the making’ in order to demystify the artistic process. Tapestry studio leader Philip Sanderson and weaver Ellie Rudd will demonstrate tapestry weaving while artist Alice Kettle will demonstrate machine and hand stitching.

Arusha Gallery displays custom-made new work by Julie Airey. Thin sheets of muslin woven are through with delicate thread, suggestive of silhouettes and figures.



22 - 26 January 2020 (Preview 21 January)

Business Design Centre,

52 Upper Street, Islington,

London N1 0QH


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