Tempo, Tune, Tale: A Musical Analogy For Textile Design

Margaret Ford wafta twenty five + image

Techniques: Crochet, knit, hand stitch
Materials: Yarn, wire, bangles, washers, found objects
Dimensions (cms): H – 108, W – 128
Photographer: Josh Wells Photography

A musician begins to play in a distant room. The feel of the beat reaches you clear and strong. Drawing closer, you begin to hear the melody flowing harmoniously with and above that beat. Invited to go even closer, your brain appreciates and is stimulated by the lyrics embellishing and amplifying his story.

I have worked to convey these remote, medium and close-up perspectives in Tempo, Tune, Tale: A Musical Analogy for Textile Design.

The work includes found objects such as metal and rubber washers, beads, stainless steel, iron and plastic wires with buttons; and bangles. They support and shape both natural fibres (alpaca, cotton, mohair, possum, silk and wool) and acrylic, lurex, nylon and polyamide yarns.

I have used three techniques: crochet, knit and hand stitch. These tools are traditional but also contemporary. They enabled me to mix and blend colours in the way a painter does; to layer and piece materials as a quilt-maker does; to build shapes as a sculptor does and to add surface embellishment as embroiderers do.

The resulting three units can be installed to suit the spaces available. For example, as a vertical or horizontal triptych or within a notional square of around 128 cm in size.

Textiles are my favourite art form and I often buy other makers’ work. I use a lot of techniques but, as I age, I am increasingly favouring my childhood skills of crochet and knitting with stitch thrown in. Adapting these age old functional techniques to new forms of expression inspires me.

Wafta twentyFIVE + crossover
on-line catalogue

includes essay by Erin Coates, Wafta history, images and statements from artists on the 42 art-works exhibited

wafta exhibition catalogue