This is the second of two posts I’m making to feature exhibitions by artists at Select 2013 in the beautiful Cotswold town of Stroud. From the home of Stroud International Textiles Select 2013 is the major UK contemporary textile event of the year and this year’s programme is outstanding. In my first post I wrote a short essay on Hillu Liebelt’s Still Moments show when this touring exhibition visited Bankfield Museum in Halifax. My essay on Seiko Kinoshita benefitted from a visit to her Sheffield studio as she started work on her SIT commissioned installation The Colour of Summer.
For all Seiko Kinoshita’s diffidence about describing her work and her inspiration, in conversation she is rarely lost for a vivid verbal image. Sometimes it’s like listening to a translation of Kanji characters, those Chinese elements of Japanese containing only content words (nouns) and stems of verbs and adjectives, missing out the usual prepositions and conjunctions. As you hear her speak you fill in the gaps, and that’s fine. This suggests that she has not changed her (Japanese) way of thinking about the essential nature of things seen. Nature predominates: sky, field, tree, flower. There’s also a directness about colour: blue, red, green, yellow. She seems less concerned with qualities of difference than the directness of sensory impact. So when she begins to describe plans for her installation in the foyer of Stroud Museum this directness and simplicity of description provides instant images. Green and Yellow: that rich green of grass in a meadow; the vibrant yellow of a field of rape. That’s it. But wait. What you have to add to this is movement of textile in 3D space. Imagine suspended fragments of woven paper yarn direct-dyed in these two colours, not as in her autumnal One Sunny Day (2010) a blaze of orange and red woven leafs revolving in a perpendicular structure, but resting in curvatured swathes of yellow then green, yellow then green, so when seen from a distance (from the Museum courtyard?) a summer landscape of colour appears. Her initial sketches seem to add something new to her existing body of site-specific work, textile forms that may sway and ripple across and within a rectangular space.