Acts for placing woollen and linen
13 August – 19 September 2020
Entry is free and by pre-booked appointment only
We have put a number of measures in place in line with Government guidance, including physical distancing, limits on visitor numbers, increased cleaning, hand-sanitising stations, and a one-way route through the gallery
Read our re-opening statement here
Acts for placing woollen and linen opens with the installation of a collection of 65 weavings, made by weavers from 16 countries as part of Standard Incomparable, a project begun by Mirra in 2015.
The weavings were all woven in response to 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.’
From 27 August onwards, the weavings will be taken one by one 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, Acts for placing woollen and linen will extend the relationship between body, material and weaving established by Standard Incomparable 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 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’.
Born 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.