Research Fellowship Project
February and June 2017
Project Title: Exchanges Between Traditional and New Textile Technologies: Inventing Sustainable Methods of Making Through Creative Collaboration
Dr Jo Law and Dr Agnieszka Golda’s collaborative project asked: how can art contribute to new strategies that help us meet current environmental challenges? In response to this question, they brought together their areas of expertise, textiles and electronic media, to focus on how art can inspire social change and action on global climate justice.
While at MAAS, Law and Golda’s research looked at gold and silver thread embroidery, principally from China and Japan, using the MAAS collection and samples held in the Lace Study Centre. Of particular interest was the depiction of animals in textile objects, as well as their construction processes. Law and Golda aim to discover how traditional and contemporary lace and embroidery techniques can be combined with conductive materials, low energy devices, and energy harvesting technologies (photovoltaic cells) to invent new materials and sustainable methods of making. This archival research directly informed their material research, which resulted in the creation of a series of experimental objects.
The focus of Law and Golda’s MAAS fellowship on the relationship of art with environmental considerations ties in with their participation in the University of Wollongong Global Challenges Program, for which they focused on the notion of energy-efficient art. The manifestation of Law and Golda’s research can be seen in a blog related to their Global Challenges project; as well as their Spinning World exhibition (July 2018 – January 2019) at the Powerhouse Museum. Spinning World was later shown again, in a follow-up exhibition at the University of Wollongong (August – October 2019).
Law and Golda presented their research project and Spinning World in a conference paper entitled ‘Enchanting Materialities: e-Textiles Installations for an Ecosophic World’ at ISEA 2020. They have also previously presented at Spectra 2018, together with Helen McGregor and Sepidar Sayyar. More information about Law and Golda’s presentation at Spectra can be read in J. Scott, A. Hansell, D. East and J. Law, ‘Abstracts from the Spectra 2018 Symposium: Keynote and Materiality,’ 16 September 2020, Leonardo.