Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Showing Textiles in fine art shows and competitions.

I spent a  frustrating 4 hours yesterday trolling through fine art competitions and fine are shows in New Zealand and not finding a single competition or show that will accept textile art.  I find it so hard to understand why there are still so many people in the art world that cannot see that textiles are a beautiful form of art and are equal to painting, photography, sculpture and drawing.  In fact if we want to look at how long textiles have been used to beautify homes and bodies it would probably have been for the same or if not a longer length of time than art on walls. 

A mini Kantha. 
By Catherine Parkinson
15cm x 15cm

Based on embroidery from the Pakistan region.  The Pakistani women sew together older cloths to make beautiful new cloth to adorn their bodies or to beautify their homes. 

Textiles have been used for centuries to block draughts around beds and door ways,  to adorn the body,  to cover tables, walls and beds. Many cultures still spend many hours creating beautiful art for their homes to protect,  give warmth and to decorate their homes. 

So why do textile artists still not receive the same accolades as traditional artists?  Is it because textile work is seen as a woman's craft or is it because  it is still seen as a practical object that is a need rather than something beautiful?  What's your thoughts on this?

It was refreshing to see this article in The Independent.  It seems at last textile artists are beginning to recognition for their beautiful work See article here  somewhere in the world.  Lets hope that the art world is beginning to see the light.


  1. Catherine, have you considered becoming a SAQA member? They have great calls for entry and maintain a listing section on their website. Plus the do a whole heap towards promoting fibre art.

    1. We must be on the same wave length.......I was just looking at that yesterday. Thanks so much for confirming my thoughts.


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