Temporary Utopian Fibre Temple
A tactile interactive fibre installation
Hello fellow human!
I'm Helena Post, a self taught spinster, weaver and fibre artist of 16 years now, and I've been travelling around the country with my large family for most of that time, visiting and instigating
markets, festivals and various exhibitions along the way.
This is me......
I'm also a massive advocate of Slow Fashion, Craftivism, and the Bespoke and Maker movements. Did you know that after oil production, the textile industry is the second most toxic industry on the planet? There are rivers that run blue with denim dye, not to mention the factory farming, production methods and slave labour utilised to make our clothes. And then we put those clothes on the biggest organ of our bodies..........our skin.
Apart from the environmental impact of fast fashion, spinning, weaving, knitting and crochet are well known forms of stress relief, mindfulness, meditation and therapy. These are all ancient arts that our ancestors practiced that were not only healthy for the planet, but also wholistic for individuals and communities to partake in. I believe we all have a little hole inside us, that we don't even know that we have, that can only be filled by mastering a practical trade. All of our ancestors would have been involved in the survival skills surrounding food, shelter and clothing, for a lot longer in our evolution than we've been going to shops, to buy generic clothing from people we don't know.
With awareness starting to increase about the unsustainability of fast fashion, along with the importance of recycling, re-using, up-cycling and creating kinder clothing and fibre creations for ourselves and the rest of the planet, I've created TUFT as an experiential learning experience to really ponder all of these issues.
This is how it works
I want to come along to your gallery, town hall, festival, school, or any other event, and bring along a host of fibre creations to set up a temporary installation. These include things like......
A two ply, handspun-in-the-grease, three dimensional, three circuit, Labyrinth to walk through. Hung from two seven pointed stars, one wrapped with colourful commercial yarns, and one of wood.
There is also a handspun and crocheted rug on which to walk in your circuits.
And it looks something like the video below in real life.......
A Spiderweb Spiral Shower, which is a handspun and crocheted spiderweb, from which hangs a spiral of handspun and crocheted chains of angora rabbit, mohair, alpaca and a small amount of brightly coloured commercial fibres for a balance.
You can either spiral in and out of the centre, or just shower yourself in the drape of tactile fibres, having a multi-sensory experience.
An intricately yarn bombed branch that I call the Transformastick, which has a handspun wrapped tail and wire prosthetic twigs, with fleece pods and flowers. It almost looks like the branch is being consumed and transformed by fibre.
From which hangs a handspun and crocheted wrap which can be removed and danced in, with all the regal nature of a priestesses robe.
The Pussandree. A fibre tree wrapped with handspun yarn and raw fleece over branches and wire. The top branches are wrapped wire with emu feather tops, the trunk branches are in the shape of arms and hands, and there's also flowers that open and close - all of these things being movable.
There's also crocheted and fleece stuffed roots that can be artfully arranged.
The Pussandree is an experience on it's own, but was originally made to be the tree home for my range of Pusses, hence it's name.
And here are the Pusses. Hand spun, dyed, knitted and crocheted hand puppet glove like creations, who are named for their number of tentacles.
So there are Penta, Sexta, Septa, Octo, Nonna and Icosipusses. Some also double up as hats, and all of them are a huge amount of fun for your hands to dance with.
There's also Ursula sitting up high to the right in the photo above, Moss and Gus sitting on the plinth at about mid right, and some jellyfish hanging from the spiderweb.
In the photos underneath is Little Tree made from handspun wrapped wire, the Womble Bear, and the Sextapusses, who don't always have to come out.
Then there's the series called 'Birth, Sex and Death' that you can read about in more detail here, that will come out or not, depending on the sensibilities of the audience.
My giant spiderweb with a bouncy felted ball to play with in the bottom of it, that also fits perfectly inside our Soul Pad, which can also be utilised as an amazing space for festivals. There's also some more detail of the Pusses in this photo.
And a giant suitcase of dress ups to play with and dance around in, from hats to Slats. Feeling and wearing these creations connects you with all the other people who have worn them, and the energy with which they've been made.
Which brings me to another very important point. Quantum Physics has shown us that everything that is energy, that remembers where it's been, with a memory of the experiences it's been through on it's journey.
So the memories of handmade creations are a world apart from items made by factory farming and industrial methods.
A large part of my motivation for bringing this to you, is to encourage you to feel the difference and inherent life, in hand crafted objects from happy animals.
What happens then?
Depending on the size, setting, audience, and length of time, I will bring all or some of these creations and stories.
Where the duration of the installation will vary from a week to a month, all of them will be set up as a temporary and interactive fibre temple.
For the duration of the exhibition, workshops will be run either in situ or out in the community, about how to create all of these elements, make rope, spin your own yarn, make needle and wet felted creatures, make your own tools and looms and learn how to weave on them, craft a community yarn bombing project, crochet and knit or design your own garments, all whilst finding your own personal way of crafting.
As we go, the creations we've crafted will be added to the installation until we make a veritable fibre forest of fantastical proportions. And then as an ending ceremony, we will come together to dance through our forest, and folk will take their masterpieces home, along with inspiration.
For schools and festivals
Where the duration of the installation will be only a day or so, I will bring just a small assortment like the Pussandree and Pusses or the Birth, Sex and Death series (depending on whether it has to be pg rated or not), a spinning wheel and my cuddly creations, and do a spinning demonstration while talking about the history and present of the textile industry.
Then we will either use the students or participants favourite old clothing and save it from being thrown out, by cutting it into strips and turning it into rope, or I will bring a variety of materials with me to do the same.
Rope is a simple and tactile process that is a perfect demonstration of Newtons Third Law - The Law of the Equal and Opposite reaction, as well as being a zen form of spinning. And it needs no tools other than your hands and whatever you can twist.
For individuals and small groups
I'm happy to tailor our time to fit your needs, and bring whichever elements desired to show or tell or share.
All of these elements and potential experiences are thoroughly negotiable, and I'm happy to let you tailor your own version of all of it.
To discuss and arrange
Just contact me