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INNOVATIVE THREADS (article first published : 2001-10-23)

“Should quilt makers be considered artists, and should they be demanding the same prices for their work as paintings, sculptures and other works traditionally accepted as 'fine art'?” asks Margie Garratt, the curator of Innovative Threads an exhibition which opens at the Durban Art Gallery on October 31.

“My answer to these questions is an emphatic yes!,” adds Margie. “As you will see from this year's exhibition, textile art is coming of age. Curators and collectors are at last acknowledging its importance both here and overseas.”

One of Margie Garrett’s primary objectives at the conception of Innovative Threads six years ago was to encourage the artist, create a market and enlighten the viewing public. In 2000, approximately 10, 000 people viewed the exhibition in Cape Town, Grahamstown and Johannesburg. She hopes to continue exhibiting in more centres throughout South Africa and overseas.

Innovative Threads 2001 showcases the rich diversity of textile art that has emanated from South Africa in recent years.

“What shines through in all the work is the artists' dedicated and determined approach, their need to explore and take risks, and the constant challenges presented by the threadmedium,” adds Margie. “The vision of our Jurors, Sally Scott (fibre artist and teacher) and Carol Brown (Director of Durban Art Gallery) is shown in the clarity of their selections for this collection. I am most grateful to them both for their commitment and patience while shaping this dynamic exhibition!”

The 35 artworks offer an insight into each artist's outlook on life, sources of inspiration, methods of working and choice of medium.

Initiated by the Association of French Patchwork, Innovative Threads are honoured to offer, for the first time in France, an exhibition of South African Fibre Art in the town of Vincennes near Paris.

The exhibition runs at the Durban Art Gallery from October 31 to November 25. Visit www.inno.co.za




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