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Collection Reflection: Vivan Sundaram, Riverscape and Cloth Club

22 April 2020 12:00 pm

Cloth Club, our group of people who come together to  learn textile skills, have worked on a project that explores the wonders of freeform crochet and knitting. Taking inspiration from Vivan Sundaram’s Riverscape held within our Middlesbrough Collection, is an aerial depiction of the River Tees and surrounding areas. Cloth Club spent some time examining and unpicking this artwork, using it as a focal point to develop a textile landscape of the River Tees.

Cloth Club’s tapestry is made up of small pieces of freeform knitting and crochet patches called scumbles.  Freeform Knitting and crocheting is a technique of seemingly random combination of crochet, knitting and in some cases other fibres to make a piece that is not constrained by patterns, colours, stitches or other limitations.

The group used several in-depth photographs of the River Tees to plan and design the shape and form of the tapestry. The project has been the most inclusive project the group has embarked on to date, crocheting and knitting have been a very successful way to involve an array of our MIMA visitors. It could be accessed and enjoyed by many regardless of barriers such as language and ability, allowing many visitors the opportunity to connect and contribute to the artwork. The craft has been a catalyst for conversation and storytelling, members of the group doing independent research on myths and legends attributed to the River Tees, the project has given confidence to members who have been quiet and reserved in past projects, sometimes leading on sessions and teaching new members how to knit/crochet. What became evident from the project is the way the project has mapped a journey for the group, it depicts ownership and connection the group feels to their town.



Work by Cloth Club

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