Kalopsia Collective: What is Textiles?

KALOPSIA Collective is a UK-based textile collective, who cite their aim as creating a place for textiles in the contemporary art world.  

Kalopsia presents their latest works in a series of exhibitions currently travelling around the UK.

“Despite the UK’s rich and diverse Textile heritage, the production of new and exciting work within the field has been all but ignored over the last few decades,” They say.

“Now, the Textile has to break loose from the preconceived ideals it has been given and develop as an artistic and creative contemporary medium.”

Alyson Lowe from Pillow Magazine catches up with Louise, one of Kalopsia’s four founding members, about their aims, intentions, and why textiles is so important…

So, what is your latest exhibition ‘What is Textiles’ all about?

“‘What is Textiles’ is a commentary on contemporary textiles and craft, aiming to bridge the gap between art, design and fashion sectors. The result is a diverse range of conceptual and contemporary design from four textiles graduates, which hopes to raise a higher level of understanding and appreciation within this field.”

What inspired you to create the exhibition?

“The main basis for this exhibition of work was a considered combination of thoughtful design paired with a good visual aesthetic. ‘Textiles’ is too often stereotyped and considered as a hobby and not appropriate to be displayed as an art form in an exhibition. However, we consider it to instead be a mind-set; certain systems and thought-processes allow us to think ‘textiles’. All disciplines within textiles require certain rules to follow to be able to produce a final outcome. But it is how we adapt and bend these rules, as well as combining different systems that allow us to produce a ‘textile’, in the broadest sense of the term. Within this, a textile needn’t just be fabric or final outcome. A textile can be any form of material, which has had these processes applied to them, physical and conceptual.”

The What Is Textiles Pillow by Adam Robertson

The What Is Textiles Pillow by Adam Robertson

Above, is the iconic What Is Textiles pillow by Adam Robertson. The pattern is made from repeating the phrase WhatIsTextiles, using a colour pallette, code fourteen times. This coding is represnted on a pillow; a form that is probably one of textile’s biggest cliches. This kind of exciting, creative thinking is what really sets Kalopsia apart as a group of contemporary artists with a big future ahead of them.

“As a collective, Kalopsia’s textile focus is not merely on the visual aesthetics, but of the craftsmanship and level of skill inputted, as well as the importance of the physical act of making within this technology-driven era.”

What is Textiles contains a diverse selection of work, all contained under the umbrella of Textile design. Materials and media range between film and concept art, identity, performance, digital coding and time visuals, as well as a variety of hand-woven and digitally printed fabrics.


For more information about Kalopsia Collective, or if you are interested in submitting work for another of their exhibitions, contact them at kalopsiacollective@gmail.com or www.kalopsiacollective.co.uk

Hand Woven Tubular Fabric with Acetate, by Louise Weeden

Hand Woven Tubular Fabric with Acetate, by Louise Weeden

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