The most recent design exercise set for the textile group I belong to was on the theme of ‘Nothing’. It was an interesting concept to try to express. I had recently re-watched the documentary ‘Herb and Dorothy’ about the American collectors of minimalist and conceptual art Herb and Dorothy Vogel. A favourite scene in the documentary is where a visitor attempts to get to grips with a piece that consists of a short length of rope, nailed to the wall (apologies I can’t recall the name of the artist).
So I thought I would also work with a small piece of unravelled rope that I had, clearly in the scheme of things this could be considered ‘nothing’. I sewed it onto a small scrap of fabric left over from a sewing project.
After finishing this I realised that by using the bright red thread I’d created ‘something’ rather than nothing.
I think I fared better with my second attempt, a row of even smaller sections of rope sewn down with a more neutral coloured thread.
This piece also brings to mind inland clouds – these picture-book clouds float by them selves in a summer sky offering no prospect of rain.
To shamelessly borrow from one of the other artists participating in this exercise “nothing is defined by something.”