RITUALS: WIP (Weaving in Progress) at Rogue Studios

Maja Lorkowska, Exhibitions Editor
Large jewel coloured handmade tassels in shades of turquoise, red and orange
Jenny Steele

RITUALS: WIP (Weaving in Progress), Jenny Steele & Gorton Weavers at Rogue Artists’ Studios, Manchester Until 29 June 2024 Entrance is free — Visit now

Textiles take centre stage at Rogue Studios this month, with an open studio exhibition of woven sculpture by Jenny Steele including weaving by local Gorton weavers.

RITUALS: WIP (Weaving in Progress) is part of Steele’s project that combines research, engagement and production Rituals for Tomorrow, where she explores sustainable ways of using weaving as a wellbeing tool, enhancing our sense of belonging and connection to local nature.

Jenny Steele’s practice focuses on ritual, memory, grief, belonging and nature which are explored through techniques like hand weaving, basket weaving and other heritage crafts, with an emphasis on sustainability. As well as her own handmade works, she facilitates public events where craft skills are shared, and has previously produced site-specific artworks in textile, sculpture, printmaking and drawing.

Tassels in turquoise, red and orange all in a row before they have been added to the sculpture
Jenny Steele

Sustainability in textiles is an important topic and one that has gained traction in the mainstream in recent years, making Rituals a timely display. For the project, Steele has sourced bold, bright, colourful ex-industrial yarns, saving them from landfill to create a brand new work. She combines these with organic materials such as leaves and grasses from Gorton parks and Fallowfield Loop creating an even more direct relationship with the surrounding green areas.

In the show, you’ll find a celebratory sculpture made using a 200 year old Lancashire cart, a work which references the ‘rushcart’ ceremony. The ritual was common in Lancashire and Yorkshire (in some places it’s still practised today) and included a procession with the decorated rushcart bearing rushes, symbolically uniting the community with the seasons and nature.

Highly textured green grasses, wiry orange threads and tassels stacked upon one another
Jenny Steele

In the run-up to the exhibition, the artist taught backstrap weaving as well as passemanterie techniques, which is the art of creating elaborate textile trimmings, to the Gorton Visual Arts Group. As a result, weaving and tassels made from plants and yarn are included in the large-scale woven sculpture.

A second sculpture is being created during the course of the exhibition – a large semi-circular woven work to be completed and installed on a wooden boat in July 2024 at Art Gene, Barrow, Cumbria.

The show also includes drawings, pieces made from plants and yarn, films as well as woven samples from both Steele and local Gorton weavers.

RITUALS: WIP (Weaving in Progress), Jenny Steele & Gorton Weavers at Rogue Artists’ Studios, Manchester Until 29 June 2024 Entrance is free Visit now

Performances

Date
Time
Session Features
8 June 2024
12:00pm — 4:00pm
29 June 2024
12:00pm — 4:00pm
22 June 2024
12:00pm — 4:00pm

Always double check opening hours with the venue before making a special visit.

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