Into Softer Worlds with Natalia Tan
1 May – 27 Jun 2021, 11am – 8pm daily, Marina Central District
First launched during Singapore Art Week 2020, Art Encounters is a presentation series capturing the art-making process within repurposed shipping containers, designed to travel to unique sites around Singapore. In its fourth edition, Art Encounters arrived at Marina Central with an array of activities across the precinct focused on the diversity of textile art.
At Millenia Walk, visitors could join textile artist Natalia Tan in her pop-up free-weaving studio and try their hand at weaving with a Japanese floor loom. In the adjacent container studio was a showcase of Singaporean textile works curated by the artist. No two visits were the same, as both spaces changed and evolved––inside and outside––over the course of the show. At Marina Square's outdoor walkway sat the welcome gallery, where visitors could sit on rattan chairs up-cycled with textile coverings woven by Natalia, and watch videos of past editions of Art Encounters. An array of hands-on workshops and pop-up art installations took place at Suntec City and South Beach.
In a world where audiences are conditioned to distance themselves from art (and each other), Into Softer Worlds was an invitation to touch, create, and share what moves us. Visitors were more than mere viewers in this multi-sensory encounter as they weaved their heartfelt wishes into collectively-created tapestries of dreams and desires.
Into Softer Worlds: The Exhibition
“Being creative is not so much the desire to do something as the listening to that which wants to be done: the dictation of the materials” – Anni Albers, pioneering textile artist and teacher
This exhibition brought together Singapore-based textile artists and practitioners who have yielded to the siren song of all things spun, that want to be spun, dyed, crocheted, collaged, knitted, woven, tatted, quilted, embroidered, tufted, latch-hooked, punch-needled, and then some.
Each month featured a rotating line-up of artists. In May, the conversation touched on perception, process, and inherent value. June’s artists played on and with the boundaries of nature and artifice, order and existence.
Photos and videos may be taken and shared online with credit to the artists.
Please tag all artists and @artoutreachsingapore, and let us know how you feel about the work!
Hop over to the adjacent container to join textile artist and the curator of this exhibition, Natalia Tan, in her pop-up free-weaving studio. The artist is in from Sundays to Tuesdays, 11am to 7pm.
About the Artist
Natalia Tan (b. 1990) is an artist and art facilitator based in Singapore whose primary practice is freestyle Saori weaving. She weaves on a wooden floor loom, sometimes with unconventional materials like shredded plastic, plant vines, metal wire, and paper. She has a longstanding interest in making art with salvaged and upcycled materials.
As founder of local arts movement Home Is Where The Art Is, Natalia enjoys bringing people from various walks of life together through participatory installation art, and using art as a vehicle for connection.
About the Artist
Kelly Limerick (b. 1991) is a Singaporean artist working primarily in crochet and knit. Having first picked up crochet in 1997 when she was 7 years old, she has stretched this traditional craft beyond predictable patterns and challenges the stigma of crochet being a ‘granny craft’.
Often freestyled without sketches, her creations range from soft sculptures to large-scale installations, which aim to provide immersive experiences by engaging the site.
Kelly's current line of enquiry concerns itself with formlessness in a medium that is inherently mathematical, uncovering the essence of things within chaos. Her recent explorations investigate abstract crochet forms unbound by geometrical parameters, harnessing the characteristics of different yarn fibres to execute undulating landscapes, sinuous organic forms and delicate latticework, drawing great inspiration from nature herself.
While pursuing technique by delving deep into crochet and its long history, her work aims to reframe this craft in contemporary times and question the relevance of slow art in a fast-paced society.
Art Encounters Workshops
Accompanying this edition of Art Encounters was a series of family-friendly art workshops taking place fortnightly through May and June, held at South Beach and Suntec City.
Visitors could learn how to create their own textile pieces by applying techniques of finger-knitting, fibre-spinning and basic embroidery; or inculcate a deeper love for nature through botanical sketching and printmaking with recycled materials!
Workshops are suitable for beginners and chargeable at $12/person to cover materials. Limited spaces are available on a first come, first served basis.
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