Crafts Study Centre - The University Museum of Modern Crafts

Plain Stripe Check

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23 March to 19 June 2010  TPW inline 1

'Plain, Stripe, Check' is a collaborative exhibition project in two parts: Contemporary hand-woven textiles by the originators Tim Parry-Williams and Ikuko Ida; and historical woven textiles selected from museum and private collections in Britain and Japan. It represents the results of historical research across both Japanese and British sources, and practice based research (making) under the project theme. While the exhibition showcases numerous examples of museum textiles rarely seen, the collected works also reveal groups of design trends typical to both cultures. In particular it emphasises the key character values of the research theme: Timelessness, visual strength, understatement and simplicity.
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The exhibition is part of a tour, which began at the Japan Folk Crafts Museum, Tokyo, in September 2007. Prospective tour venues are located in the British Isles, Continental Europe and North America, before returning to Japan in an expanded form. Each exhibition will showcase different work, drawing particularly on the local historical archive, with the elements of the contemporary work reflecting that specific archive.


'Plain Stripe Check', originates from a chance meeting between English weaver, Tim Parry-Williams, and Japanese kimono weaver, Ikuko Ida, in the summer of 2003.

TPW inline 2 "Initially we shared an interest and an appreciation of each other's work, and enjoyed a remarkably natural ease of conversation. It also emerged that we had similar backgrounds, and in spite of obvious contextual differences, numerous common tendencies in working methodologies. In terms of weaving, our thinking, attitude, and aims and direction, were on the whole very similar. Further, both of us were primarily concerned with making work of simple beauty, and of a natural functionality.

Later, while looking together at examples of traditional British and Japanese weaving, we were able to observe a sense of parity of these underlying values and discussion developed. With these thoughts in mind, we looked at and identified areas of interest and through combined knowledge and experience, decided what further research might be considered, and from there, how in our own studios we might begin to make new work.
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Initial research was conducted in museum collections in both home countries and many examples of beautiful weaving were revealed. Through common interests, the themes of plain, stripe and check emerged as being of particular significance, and these quickly developed as the central focus, and something on which an ongoing research agenda has been built.

Throughout the textiles we have looked at, there has been a consistent value of timelessness. They are on the whole aged, but all have had a subtle sense of power that speaks to the heart. This is something often not found in contemporary work and in addition to the simple and powerful beauty, there have been many variances of sophisticated design, and increasingly beyond all expectations. Often interests have been sparked and observations made, from even the smallest samples and cuttings found within the many collections, and significantly in many cases, in normally unseen objects, those rarely on display in museums and collections. We discovered things that might never have been seen before and felt very strongly that we would like to continue the work.

From this research underlying working philosophies have emerged: Beauty in simplicity, functionality, and a balance of both; and outstanding quality of idea, but with an appeal of familiarity. Through this, we hope people might recognize and value anew this simplicity. This objective continues to drive the work we hope all will want to enjoy."

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Artist's talk £5.00
Wednesday 7th April 2010
Drinks 5.00pm to 5.30pm
Talk 5.30pm to 6.30pm

Tickets include a glass of wine or soft drink TPW inline 8

Booking essential

A suggestion for the future of Crafts - Junichi Arai,HON R.D.I, Textile creator

Plain Stripe Check - Professor Simon Olding, Director, Crafts Study Centre

Tim Parry-Williams - Statement

Ikuko Ida - My Work

Tim Parry-Williams CV

Ikuko Ida CV