It is a given fact that there are two purposes for textiles. Either they protect and nurture or they demonstrate social status and cultural belonging. These purposes continue, regardless of the time or the culture.
But art textiles do a third thing. They enable Descartes’ first passion, wonder.
We are surprised by wonder. Wonder is beyond intellect, an aesthetic experience that takes us to the brink of our senses. It is when wonder happens that we experience the existential condition of immensity within ourselves. Nature can give us this feeling. Art can give us this emotion.
Art made with textile materials or technique has texture, rich material, repetitive gesture and many nearly identical marks. Even the simplest and pared down minimalist examples of textile art have those things. When the art is pared down, the touch of the hand and even the movement of the maker’s body are embedded in the work. The intensive labour, the many considerations and small adjustments, and all the time it took to make is embedded in the work. When these things are combined with the aesthetic of simplicity, the result is a space for contemplation. It's similar to what we feel when we are in nature. These images are from the 'motherly advice' book I gave April last Christmas juxtaposed with my essay writing.