Anne Morrell: Chasing Tensions
Curator, Curatorial Bursary
Goldsmiths Textile Collection & Constance Howard Gallery
24 January – 18 March 2018
After 50 years away from Goldsmiths, textile artist and scholar Anne Morrell returns to the Constance Howard Gallery to present her work in a significant exhibition, “Anne Morrell – Chasing Tensions”. This exhibition presents a body of new and recent textile work, emerging from a lifelong pursuit of an understanding of stitch and textile.
Anne’s artistic practice is characterised by an ongoing interest in chasing tensions and changing states – in processes or materials that are constantly shifting and moving. The way Anne manipulates the cloth is inspired by the collision of various influences around her – from the undulating surface of the pond in her backyard, to drifting clouds and airplane trails in the sky, to the way the light changes in different environments, from harsh contrasts to diffused softness. In a quiet intimacy with nature and her environment, she utilises stitch in order to express her ideas and observations.
The particular type of mark-making that Anne enlists is a product of her extensive knowledge and research across Indian textiles and British embroidery – her work reflects a drive to arrive at an elaboration or expression of ‘stitch’ that defies categorisation, and in doing so taking apart preconceptions of hand stitch within specific cultural or institutional contexts. At the same time, “Chasing Tensions” also seeks to draw connections with Anne’s scholarship on Indian embroidery, as a way to reflect on Anne’s work which inevitably influenced her methods and artistic practice.
Anne Morrell, born Anne Butler in Chennai (Madras) India, is an artist and scholar on Indian textiles. She has written extensively on Indian embroideries for the Calico Museum of Textiles, Ahmedabad, India and has developed a thoughtful art practice investigating stitch as mark and language. She has exhibited her work worldwide and her work can be found in public and private collections in the UK, Poland, USA, Australia and others. She taught in Goldsmiths College from 1965 – 1968 as a full-time lecturer, leaving in 1968 to teach at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU). Anne returns to Goldsmiths after 50 years to present her textile work, and to reflect on her lifelong work and passion.