Feel the Beat

Lynn Mecklenburg Textile Gallery
@ 10:00 am - @ 4:00 pm

Felt is considered to be the oldest constructed textile, predating weaving, knitting and knotted fabric structures. It is created through a process of beating and agitation which causes the wool fibers to mat together forming a solid piece of cloth. This process has led to felt being called a percussion textile because they are often communally made and pounding the cloth in an almost rhythmic manner is essential to their creation. Utilizing felt pieces from the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection, along with new works from two communities of feltmakers, the Association of Craft Producers (ACP) in Kathmandu, Nepal and those of Unay Muchiku in Iluman, Ecuador, this exhibition will explore the history of an ancient textile and demonstrate its multiple uses today as a symbol of cultural identity, creative expression, and sustainable eco-friendly material used in buildings and industry.

Makers from both the ACP and Unay Muchiku were introduced to each other virtually to engage in a cultural exchange which consisted of sharing products each group made and the technical knowledge through demonstrations. They were then asked to create new work inspired by their colleagues on another continent.  Despite barriers of language these women have found common ground and delight in an exchange through making.

Two women cut out of photographs lined in blue and yellow. Woman on the left is working on felt on the table in front of her. Woman on the right is beating felt on the table in front of her. In the background is a swirling spiral design with color gradient from yellow to blue.