We were due to open Acts for placing woollen and linen on 21 March. However, we remain closed temporarily in response to government restrictions necessitated by the spread of coronavirus. We look forward to enjoying the exhibition with you in person when we are able.
Acts for placing woollen and linen
Download the Checklist of weavings that accompanies our virtual walkthrough
This spring we begin our 2020 programme with Acts for placing woollen and linen, an exhibition by American artist Helen Mirra. The exhibition opens with Standard Incomparable, a project begun by Mirra in 2015, which comprises 65 weavings made by weavers from 16 countries, all woven with specific qualities set by Mirra:
a more or less square, plain-woven piece, of a width matching the length the weaver’s arm. Yarn of local
& undyed plant and/or animal material, in seven alternating stripes (of shades or weights) the width of the weaver’s hand (incl. the thumb).
Of these decisions, Mirra has said: ‘while weaving, it seems one can’t help but be aware of one’s arms, one’s hands, their size – as one is really “with them” when with a loom.’ Together, the resulting weavings reveal characteristics both general and distinct, which make them both ‘standard’ and ‘incomparable.’
Over the course of the exhibition the weavings will be taken from the gallery by invited participants, on foot, and placed outside in the surrounding landscape where they will be left. In this way, for Mirra, ‘the collection will be let go of.’
Through this process, the relationship between body, material and weaving established by Standard Incomparable will extend to include factors such as ground, field and walking. As with the production of the weavings, their dispersal will entail individual actions within a collective undertaking.
Cample Mill itself is an especially poignant location for Acts for placing woollen and linen. It operated as a spinning and weaving mill throughout the 19th century before being repurposed several times throughout the 20th century – a place itself from which weaving and all its associated activity departed. Mirra has said: ‘I didn’t see the dispersal until the invitation from CAMPLE LINE came, and then it seemed not just perfect, but obvious and inevitable’.
*1970 Rochester New York, lives in Northern California
Helen Mirra’s work has been presented in solo exhibitions at the Renaissance Society, Chicago; Kunst-Werke, Berlin; Haus Konstruktiv, Zürich and Berkeley Art Museum. She participated in the 50th Venice Biennial, the 20th Sao Paulo Art Biennial and the 12th Havana Biennial. A fifteen year survey (1996-2010) of her work was presented at Culturgest in Lisbon Portugal in 2014.
Download our exhibition booklet Helen Mirra Acts for placing woollen and linen
Standard Incomparable, 2016 – installation views at CAMPLE LINE spring 2020
Images: Mike Bolam