Block party: pattern-cutting beyond the garment


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Those of you who are handy with a needle and thread, will be pleased to hear that a new exhibition exploring the creative possibilities of pattern-cutting (beyond making garments) is touring the country.

Block Party: Contemporary craft inspired by the art of the tailor kicked off its first leg of the tour over the weekend when it opened at Smiths Row, Bury St Edmunds. The quirky collection of oddities and artistry is a testament to the centuries-old alchemy of tailoring, but the work is by modern artists.

Work was selected for the Crafts Council exhibition by Lucy Orta, the artist and professor of art, fashion and the environment at London College of Fashion. Orta chose pieces by artists who use pattern-cutting as a starting point to create sculpture, ceramics, textiles, films and collages.

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Turner Prize-nominated Yinka Shonibare MBE presents a child mannequin, dressed in Victorian clothes crafted from African fabric to reference culture, race and history. Claudia Losi’s 24 metre whale, made of woollen suit fabric, was transported around the world to stimulate discussion and storytelling before being deconstructed and transformed into jackets in collaboration with fashion designer Antonio Marras.

Simon Thorogood’s patterns are created using digital programmes whilst Philip Delamore of the Fashion Digital Studio at London College of Fashion seeks to apply the latest developments in 3D digital design to the garment-making process. 

Block Party is at Smiths Row until 10 March 2012. Find out where it will be arriving next at