How do I construct a knotted grid out of fabric?
What kind of knot will be the most aesthetically pleasing and functional?
What kind of fabric shall I use?
What dimensions will the grid be?
How will it be hung?
Testing knots, fabric & constriction:
Continuing on from the knotting I introduced in my previous outcome, I am combining them with the form of a grid, which was prominently featured, in 1960’s Minimalism.
First, I tried a macramé style of knotting, to produce a net like form. Although the macramé is the more traditional route for knotted textiles, the craft connotations, alongside the need for very long lengths of material, is not practical. Plus, this style creates a diamond grid, which is not as pleasing or what I’m seeking.
This sample was made out of thick canvas. Despite being strong, with lots of texture, the stiffness of the material gives an almost angular finish, and loses its draping qualities.
Second, I used the same type of knot as my previous outcome; a reef knot, where the ends go in opposite directions. I found the the ends interrupted and camouflaged the shape of the grid.
This was made in white cotton. Although much softer than the canvas, the creases are still too angular. I am looking for a more delicate aesthetic, inspired by Angus Martin. However I do like the use of white, echoing the work of Robert Ryman.
Third, I used simple overhand knots to create this more delicate square grid. The thinner strips make far more discernible squares, plus the overhand knots, protrude directly outward, creating texture, while not interfering with the grid.
This is off-white muslin. The softness of the muslin is very appealing, and contrasts well against the ‘rigidity’ of the grid. However, imagining this against the white gallery walls, I feel white muslin will be better suited.
I have decided that I am going to tie together strips of white muslin using overhand knots. The white muslin will become one with the white gallery walls, casting beautiful shadows, while harking back to Robert Ryman’s colour palette. Plus the lightness of the fabric, means it is still fluid and draping even when knotted. I imagine this grid to be a kind of three dimensional, textile version of one of Angus Martin’s works, bringing order to a pliable material.
Dimensions & hanging:
I want to incorporate the hanging and draping utilized by both Robert Morris and Eva Hesse. I am planning to produce a very long, soft grid, displayed in such as to almost create an installation. Each square of the grid will be 10x10cm, and the entire length will be roughly 6 meters.
I originally planed to present in a corner space, hanging the two ends from ether wall, and allow the middle to drape onto the floor. However, I have now discovered that I am able to have three walls attached together to form one long space. This will make for a far more dynamic, elongated effect, allowing the viewer to walk the length of the work.
The above sketches imagine the way in which the muslin grid will drape when hung in slightly different ways. It is likely that twisted orientations, will cause the muslin to almost collapse in on itself, losing the structure of the grid, therefore not being the best use of the fabric. I want to exaggerate the scale of the grid as much as possible, while also retaining its natural soft drape; creating a relationship between order and fragility.
For the final display I am planning an even more draping display. In order to enhance the main drape of the work, I have chosen to move the hooks inwards, leaving the ends of the grid to dangle. Deliberately this allows gravity to exert its effect on the muslin.(Below is my final display plan)