In Spring 2023, Dovecot Studios in Edinburgh is bringing colour, light and optimism to Scotland in an exhibition curated by textile guru Kaffe Fassett and Dennis Nothdruft from the Fashion and Textile Museum. Considered one of the most successful artists and designers working in contemporary craft, Fassett’s career encompasses knitting, needlepoint, mosaic, quilting, textile design, painting and drawing. The exhibition features Dovecot’s tapestry collaboration with Fassett in the context of an immersive visual experience focused on colour and pattern.
My art has become an exploration of colour, says Kaffe Fassett, I’ve learned more about colour through working with textiles than I ever learned as a painter. Colour can lift a surface. But what makes colour really work is proportion and proportion comes through pattern. If you get it right, pattern just sings. It is why I spend my life playing with pattern in knitwear and in patchwork. It is an emotional charge that I get from an interesting arrangement with colour. It is probably one of the most powerful forces to lift the spirit.
Presenting over 70 colourful, eclectic pieces, this joyous exhibition draws on artworks from invited international makers inspired by Kaffe Fassett, as well as quilts, cushions, clothes and
archival material. Together these pieces illuminate Fassett’s contribution to the creative economy across over 50 years as well as the breadth of his global influence. The exhibition also explores how textile art can be an emotive and powerful artform. A new film features the artist discussing textile design with long-time collaborators Brandon Mably and Philip Jacobs.
Kaffe Fassett: The Power of Pattern also provides a personal insight into Kaffe Fassett’s artistic vision and touches on his emotional and artistic connection to Scotland. Fassett’s fashion knitwear collaboration with Scottish designer Bill Gibb (1943–88), helped to bring his artwork to life in three-dimensional form in the 1960s. Their partnership inspired Kaffe’s developing sense of colour. He says, Our train to western Scotland took us through the most subtly coloured landscape I had ever seen. Lichen-covered stones rested beside rushing streams of peat-stained amber water. Bracken in strawberry-blond tones, mixed with purple and lavender heather, covered the rolling hills. Since the 1960s, Fassett has returned to Scotland many times including his collaboration with Dovecot in the 1990s and an exhibition in Aberdeen in 2016.
Other fashion collaborations include Kaffe Fassett’s work with the fashion house Missoni from 1969 into the 1970s, and with Coach who in 2019 translated his designs into clothing and onto Coach’s signature handbags. Fassett has also developed longstanding partnerships with Rowan, Ehrmann, Designers Guild. His work was the subject of a 1988 one-person show at the Victoria & Albert Museum, the first of its kind for a living textile artist.
For the last 25 years Kaffe Fassett has worked with a group of textile designers including Mably and Jacobs under the umbrella of the Kaffe Fassett Collective. This work attracts a considerable following worldwide. Fassett’s books and projects have encouraged millions to make and to create and his patterns have also been used and interpreted by countless individuals around the world for their own quilting, knitting, needlepoint and craft.
On the subject of this new exhibition, Kaffe Fassett comments, Pattern is the best vehicle to express the magical qualities of colour. This exhibition reveals the power of the printed textile, designs filled with exciting colour combinations and used by quilters around the world. I am honoured that these top quilters have sent their work from Australia, New Zealand, the USA, Canada, Africa, and Taiwan to make this dynamic display possible in Edinburgh.
Celia Joicey, Director of Dovecot comments, Dovecot has an outstanding reputation for expressing and interpreting colour in our tapestry which makes Kaffe Fassett the perfect collaborator, demonstrated by the series of tapestries he designed for us. We are thrilled that this exhibition celebrates Kaffe as one of the most prolific and influential textile artists alive today. Kaffe continues to encourage people throughout Scotland and all over the world to make, and experience colour and pattern in exciting ways. The exhibition embodies his infectious energy as well as the inspiration and influence he has on makers, including the Dovecot weavers.
Exhibition organised by The Fashion and Textile Museum, London. https://fashiontextilemuseum.org/
10 Infirmary St, Edinburgh EH1 1LT, United Kingdom
The Power of Pattern
Event Title: The Power of Pattern
Event Description: In Spring 2023, Dovecot Studios in Edinburgh is bringing colour, light and optimism to Scotland in an exhibition curated by textile guru Kaffe Fassett and Dennis Nothdruft from the Fashion and Textile Museum. Considered one of the most successful artists and designers working in contemporary craft, Fassett’s career encompasses knitting, needlepoint, mosaic, quilting, textile design, painting and drawing.
Start date: March 31, 2023
End date: July 8, 2023
Location name: Dovecot Studios
Address: 10 Infirmary St, Edinburgh EH1 1LT, United Kingdom