Textile Printing,
Repeat Pattern
& Cloth(ing)

I love the graphic imagery found in many historically printed textiles, and the concepts imbedded in repeating patterns.

In 2015 I developed a series of digitally printed and hand printed yardages which fell under the title Translation both the title of and theoretical vehicle for the work.  The theme for this work drew inspiration from the symmetries and structure of weaving. I am intrigued by the long history (in particular French printed textiles) whereby the imagery found on the printed cloth references and appropriates the structures of woven cloths. In the mid 80’s I produced very time-consuming weave drafts, which were created on large sheets of grid paper, filling in the small squares using a fine paintbrush and india ink. This binary language has existed for thousands of years, and every culture “discovered it”. It is therefore, to some degree, a universal language. I am completely intrigued by these grid drawings as an aesthetic/optical experience, and as a cultural phenomenon.

Following this I merged surface prints with garment forms Eighteen years ago I designed a course entitled: Repeating Pattern: Repeating Pattern, I have since taught this course every year.

 I am pretty certain I have taught Silk Screen Printing and Repeat Pattern more than any other person in Canada teaching today!

Embedded in the language of Textiles, in particular, printed textiles, and by extension, wallpaper, is a dialect of symmetry and repetition. This has been a multi decade long research project. The visual, often abstract, language found with-in pattern  – frequently associated with modern geometrical design tendencies – in fact pre-dates the modern age, often by many hundreds of years. 

As a teacher I have always felt the importance of communicating this history, to disrupt the misrepresentation of authorship and “origins”, and to communicate that with-in the various concepts imbedded in weaving is the foundation of binary digital technology. Notions such as the grid, cumulation, seriality and repetition are entrenched in textiles and source of endless fascination for me.