|No (Wo)man's an Island, 2017. PVC leather, embroidery. Dimensions variable|
Parts of longer speeches or poems, for example by John Dunne (1572-
Many of the phrases we know and remember are described are imagined differently in other languages, for example 'Break a leg' translates as 'Into the wolf's the mouth' in Italian. As these translated sayings impart the same message, they are at once cultural markers of both our overall oneness as a species, as well as our localised differences as citizens, class members, even gendered groups.
On another level, a reading of these words of wisdom brings into focus aspects of a distinctly male view of the world, revealing archaic, even damaging perspectives in their exclusion and exceptionalism, that we have unwittingly perpetuated. There is therefore a tension between what is needed in language, what we recall and what we use ourselves in contemporary sourced echo this tension, I feel, about memory and inheritance, our fast culture, the disposable production-ethic of cheap items today and also the way we make quickly surmised readings and how that is related to the way we view 'art'.
I began to consider what could the truisms for today be, and what would our inherited phrases have been if women had written history instead of men?
With Stitches to Save 9 With art's ability to draw attention to aspects of our ethics, is drawn in close parallel with the poetry's (or song lyrics') ability to do the same, as is the highly elucidating power poetry commands to suggests nuanced layers of meaning while also speaking on a very direct level to the listener. The press release below, part-edited by Dr. Ali MacGilp, discusses the concept and its relation to the overall material concerns of the show.
Stitches to Save 9 With
March 10th - April 25th
Al Serkal Avenue
Al Quoz Industrial Area 1
United Arab Emirates
|Electric Dreams Can't Last, 2017. Acrylic lightbox, vinyl image, electric cabling. (60 x 90cm)|
|On a Rock Floating Through Space, 2017. Cotton, embroidery thread, found frame, aerosol, coloured sand. 90 x 90cm|
|The True Veil, 2017. Embroidery thread, cotton, found wooden frame. (90 x 70cm)|
|United We Stand, 2017. Cotton, embroidery thread, duvet and pillows. Dimensions variable|
In this exhibition, Fari Bradley explores the nuances of language, history and memory. Contemplating either the usefulness or destructive nature of traditionally recited proverbs, truisms, and dictums alongside several new ones for today, Bradley renders them as signifiers, using textile and mixed media.
Decoratively Bradley's pieces resist a perspective framed in language, that often posits the idea that human experience is 'male experience'; No man is an island, for example. Yet while Stitches to Save 9 With is founded on the often sombre messages behind these mechanically memorised sayings, Bradley's techniques employ layers of satirical significance and testingly playful semantics.
Working mainly as a sound and radio artist, Bradley's previous works include musical scores rendered in weave, or sculptures combining textiles and electronics. Knitting patterns were a doorway into the algorithmic processes of electronic music, while sewing patterns were parallels to the diagrams used in building electronic circuits, and are a visual language Bradley has explored in her arts practice since 2006.
Marcel Proust’s observation“The remembrance of things past is not necessarily the remembrance of things as they were” inspired Bradley to visualise memory expressed as an imperfect picture, on which we have all embroidered our own threads, colouring experience as we saw them. Here the emotion involved in remembering contrasts with the automated way in which, for centuries, past generations have handed down these immutable wisdoms. Such spoken adages were modified to make them easy to remember and repeat, yet lack the vital quality of adaptation for the future, by which all things must survive.
My past work with The Mine includes a performance with Chris Weaver, for which we invited artists Jumairy and Sofia Chatsisaranti to collaborate: