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2012: High Fiber

High Fiber was the third installment in NMWA’s biennial exhibition series. This exhibition illuminated the centrality of textiles to contemporary artistic practice. Prior to the 1960s, textiles were consigned to the “low” world of craft, frequently categorized as “women’s work,” and constrained by social dynamics that included race as well as gender. Because of textiles’ potent reference to the domestic sphere, contemporary artists often incorporate fibers to sharpen the visual and emotional impact of their conceptual works. The seven artists or artist collectives featured in High Fiber stitched, wove, knit, crocheted, and wound fabric, felt, yarn, ribbon, wire, and single strands of silk organza into expressive forms that alluded to nature, relationships, and the pleasure of making.

The artists selected from a shortlist of 5 to represent the UK for this exhibition were the collective Prick Your Finger. According to Kathryn Wat, Curator of Contemporary Art at the NMWA, “This group’s technical virtuosity, activist outlook, and collaborative spirit exemplify the inventive work being done by textile-centered artists in the UK. ” We were delighted with this choice and highlighted their participation with a 3 day exhibition from 19-22 September at Riflemaker.

Rachael Matthews of Prick Your Finger attended the opening at the Museum in Washington, DC:

Short Listed Artists

Prick Your Finger (Collective)


Glenn Adamson, Victoria and Albert Museum

Images: and Beth Colocci