Christian Newby, Flower-Necklace-Cargo-Net, Collective, 2021. Photo: Tom Nolan
13 May - 29 Aug 2021
Christian's new commission for the City Dome at Collective, Edinburgh responds to the building, originally built to house an astronomical telescope, with a large-scale textile - Flower-Necklace-Cargo-Net and an accompanying printed newspaper.
The new tapestry combines Christian’s mark-making with industrial carpet tufting to explore how questions of labour, authorship and materiality define the fine and applied arts. Made using an industrial hand-held carpet-tufting gun, Christian explores the potential capacity of this machine as a mark-making tool rather than its primary function in a rote manufacturing process. By using the tufting tool’s nimbleness as an equivalent to a pencil, spray can, paintbrush, or tattoo needle, Christian questions how textile works are positioned between art and craft.
Images found within the work subvert typical rug and textile design motifs such as flowers, birds and shells with free-hand organic forms, pictorially contained by a large net that envelopes the whole tapestry, alluding to our shared experience of enclosure during the Covid-19 lockdowns.
A newspaper which accompanies the work, Ornaments and Crimes, offers a context for the tapestry and includes a new essay by writer Andrew Bourne alongside drawings, writing and scores by Christian offering in-depth information on his practice.
The exhibition was part of Edinburgh Art Festival.