Join us on Zoom: viuf.org/sunday
If prompted to use a password, it is: 2020
Look down (right now, look down at yourself). Assuming that you are not naked, you will find that your body is encased in cloth. You might also be sitting on a cushion or have a blanket nearby. How often do you think about your relationship with textiles? We live our lives surrounded by cloth. Yet many of us rarely think about it.
However, fabrics have been a fundamental force in defining, advancing, and shaping the world in which we live. For most of recorded history the four primary natural fiber sources (cotton, silk, linen, and wool) have involved a lion’s share of human ingenuity (e.g. the industrial revolution), but also a huge amount of ignoble shame.
Our engagement with fabric has been wrapped and bound to our relationship to and with each other. Whether we are using fabric to provide warmth, and protection or using it in more sinister ways to demarcate status, or even enslaving other humans to satiate our seemingly unyielding desire for more—we are surrounded by cloth. We are swaddled in it at birth, and shrouds are drawn over our faces in death.
Come celebrate the art and history of fabric with us as we learn a bit more about humanity’s relationship to fabric and textiles. Steven Wren (and our arts team) will share some stories and anecdotes from Kasia St. Clair’s book, The golden thread: How fabric changed history. We will also take some time to appreciate and celebrate some of our own cherished fabric creations.
Please bring and share a textile that you have either made or have been given (as well as the stories about the piece of fabric that you hold dear) as we take some time to appreciate and celebrate our collective and individual relationship with these most ubiquitous materials that weave, knit, and sometimes even entangle to our lives to and with each other.
“I give you the end of a golden string;
Only wind it into a ball:
It will lead you in at Heaven’s gate.
– William Blake “Jerusalem” 1815