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Journey of the Thread

Kettle, Alice (2019) Journey of the Thread. [Artefact]


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The project explored historical and contemporary embroidery as significant and specific cultural practices. The project drew upon the historic trading relationship and the exchange of stitched knowledge and practice through the silk route between England and China. The research looked at the relationship of traditional cultural stitched practices and their contemporary versions. Based on a residency programme Kettle looked at how these cultural practices interconnect, provide a basis for the exchange of ideas, and further incubate collaboration between English and Chinese textile contemporary art and culture, build real and effective interventions and communication through embroidery. The residency took place at the Hanshan Art Museum in Suzhou (the embroidery city), connecting with Chinese artists, institutions (Soochou University, Suzhou University and the Chinese Art Academy in Hangzhou) and organisations (the Textile Biennale Hangzhou) through a programme of cultural exchange, lectures, seminars and practice. A completed artwork was produced in collaboration using shared stitched methodologies. Designed and directed by Kettle the work sought to integrate Chinese and English approaches and introduce discussion about new and co-created practice. The work ‘Journey of the Thread’, was exhibited in the exhibition Horizontal Crossings with 3 existing works by Kettle, at the Hanshan Art Museum, Suzhou. It was subsequently acquired into the permanent collection with support from the SND Culture and Tourism Group Hanshan.

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