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Material Actions

The Material Actions exhibition is inspired by ideas that were explored in the March 2009 Textile Forum South West’s conference, Textile Footprint. The conference discussed the ethical investments in the practice of textiles and was a timely look at issues surrounding the ethical, ecological and sustainable use of materials. The Material Actions exhibition will further question how textiles are used actively to affect and contribute to ethical, social, cultural and environmental change. Focusing on the special qualities and active role textile practice can bring to challenge these current debates.

The exhibition showcases the work of 13 national and local artists:
Alison Harper / Barbara Anderson / Charlotte Squire / Eleanor Morgan / Emma Neuberg / Faith Kane / Jonnet Middleton / Julie Graves / Kim Thornton / Lucy Brown / Mrs Smith / Sue Bradley / Yuli Somme

The Material Actions exhibition will feature documentation of Plymouth College of Art’s recent commission of Mrs Smith, which was developed especially in the lead up to this exhibition. Mrs Smith’s textiles graffiti 'hit' on the Armada Sundial, a well-known feature at the centre of Plymouth’s shopping district, appeared suddenly overnight. It survived for two days, stimulating enthusiastic interaction and lively debate before it vanished.

A new publication also titled Material Actions has been published by Plymouth College of Art to coincide with the exhibition and features a specially commissioned essay by Dr. Kate Fletcher (author of ‘Sustainable Fashion and Textiles’). The publication will be launched on the opening evening and available to buy from Plymouth College of Art and the Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World (CCANW).

A FREE one day seminar featuring presentations by four artists featured in the exhibition will take place at Plymouth College of Art on Saturday 16th October. For more information and to book a place email:

Material Actions has been developed in partnership by Plymouth College of Art and Textiles Forum South West, with support from CCANW. Material Actions will tour to CCANW from 27th November 2010 - 27th February 2011. For more information see: For more information about Textiles Forum South West and to become a member see:

  • Exhibition / Gallery