AboutMiranda Argyle is showing a group of stitched drawings alongside new pencil drawings at Eleven Spitalfields.
These are part of a new body of work that she has developed over the last four years. The works refer to themes of language and the silent physical activities of sewing and drawing. Stitched text, rarely used to document events or impart information is used here to describe the domestic geography so often associated with it.
The stitching is used as a medium for drawing, creating a raised surface that adds physical depth to the intention. In both the drawings and the stitched text the whole is achieved by an accretion of small forms where each element is given an equal value. The pencil drawings resemble stitches with each link forming part of a chain that forms an entirety. Some of the works are raised and filled making a tactile surface. One of which, Braille Heartbeat can be touched. According to Jacques Lacan âIn human speech the sender is also the receiver at the same time.' (S3, 24). The language used in her work is that of the internal conversation and the repetition of familiar phrases such as Picking up the Threads, Still in the House, Heartbeat.
This exhibition also includes four recent works that are site specific and made in relation to Anna Maria Garthwaite (1688-1763) who lived and worked close to the gallery in Princelet Street which was at the heart of the silk industry at that time. Her designs, 750 of which are kept in the Victoria & Albert Museum Print Library, were made for the local Huguenot silk weavers. From where I'm looking Mr Lekeux refers to one of her clients who at one time supervised 250 silk looms in the area and lived nearby. His name appears on many of the designs.
Miranda Argyle trained as a painter at Byam Shaw in London and she went on to do Psychoanalytic Studies at Birkbeck College and Brunel University, writing her dissertation on Art and Psychosis. She has had solo exhibitions at Wolfson College and the Department of Psychology and Zoology, Oxford. The first group of sewn works were shown in 2007 at Beverley Knowles, London and she was included in Changing Rooms curated by Group Show in Brixton.
The genesis of her new work was Visual Diary created in 1995, when each day for a year she documented her thought process with two drawings. In Argyle's new work the stitch is a three dimensional extension and transformation of her drawing, and here in Princelet Street this contemporary approach is placed within the context of the Huguenot silk industry.