Unfolding: cloth, body, place

Mitchell, Liz and Blakey, Sharon (2018) Unfolding: cloth, body, place. In: Textile and Place, 12-13 April 2018, Manchester Metropolitan University. (Unpublished)

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This paper considers a shared sensorial encounter with cloth. As maker-educator and curator-historian, we discuss our recognition of shared sensibility, facilitated by places of heightened material presence—the maker’s workshop and the museum storeroom. Both are places in which we spend long periods of time alone, where we feel ‘at home’. As such, both are places where time seems to slow. And as the urgency of its forward trajectory diminishes, so it appears somehow to ‘spread’, fostering a heightened awareness in which the boundaries between place, body and material temporarily dissolve.

The apparently simple collaborative act of unfolding a piece of fabric within the context of a domestic space effected a powerful bodily response in both of us simultaneously; one that each recognized in the other without verbal exchange. We consider the implications of this encounter, and the kinds of knowledge and understanding it may yield. In the to-and-fro of dialogue, theories of emplacement, flow, resonance and intimacy are explored across the co-authors’ home disciplines of craft and making, material culture and history but are also followed into less familiar territory including biology and neuroscience. We argue for the paying of quiet attention to things easily missed; a listening not only to others and the external world, but also to one’s own minute and multi-sensory responses, through which the most powerful realisations may occur.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Keywords: site-writing, conversation, emplacement, unfolding, boundaries, intimacy, resonance, flow, cloth, place, body
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > School of Creative and Performing Arts
Depositing User: Liz Mitchell
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2018 16:25
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2018 16:25
URI: https://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/2667

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