Wednesday 15 February 2012

The Lyon Textile Industry * Built Like A Tree, Flows Like A River * Barry Flanagan and Karsten Schubert

Photo: Courtesy of Karsten Schubert and Richard Saltoun.
Barry Flanagan's Built like a tree, flows like a river strongly references the Lyon textile industry through Flanagan’s use of 100kg of local multicoloured fabric. The catalogue tells us that Lyon flourished due to its trading connections with Italy, and garnered a reputation as an important centre for producing silk and other textiles. The industry thrived for several centuries, but declined when modern manufacturing methods took hold. Flanagan considered the local sourcing of materials crucial to the making of the work. At the centre of the strands of fabric, Flanagan added a granite boulder on which he painted a miniature representation of the entire piece, providing both a diagrammatic rendering of the work and an installation map. The 100 kilos of printed and plain cotton woven together to make the meanders and ox-bows of the rivers Rhône and Saône were purchased from textile warehouses in Oullins, where there are huge quantities of packaged textile waste that the industry has no idea what to do with!

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