Shaping Space: Textiles and Architecture - An Introduction
As a visiting scholar from Australia, Diana stayed with Janis Jefferies in 2002, working at the Constance Howard Research and Resource Centre in Textiles at Goldsmiths College, and explored the riches of London, including the Freud Museum. The ideas for this issue of Textile tentatively emerged out of seeing the potent architecture of Anna Freud’s loom centrally placed in her consulting room, above her father Sigmund Freud’s study, with its installation of figurines of ancient deities, a challenge to ideas of collecting and anthropological questions. Janis’s research with the spatial architecture of computer systems seemed to combine with the measurements and tensions implicit in the systems for constructing woven cloth as well as ideas around the technologies of touch within virtual systems (haptics). Diana has a parallel concern with painted architecture, the decorative skin of the classical theatre, and with textile artifacts of Roman Cyprus. We are both tapestry weavers, who have been intimately involved with tapestry as a means of narrative communication embedded in the telling of stories and their complex translation; cloth makers, imbued with the idea of textile as a built structure. Both of us participated in the passionate revival of tapestry and “fiber art” in the 1960s and 1970s, a time when textiles were seen as a necessary partner to burgeoning architect-designed city buildings, mitigating the severity of concrete and glass with tactile warmth and color.