Tuesday, February 17, 2015

My review of Strange material

Strange Material: Storytelling Through TextilesStrange Material: Storytelling Through Textiles by Leanne Prain
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I took a really long time to read this book, not because I was not enjoying, but because I did not want to finish it. This is the first book I have read by Leanne Prain, and will be reading her others.

This book is a wonderful look at how fabric artists tell stories, some explicit, and some implicit. All through this I kept thinking about the value of these ideas, and how they could be used to create some wonderful local studies content. There are some patterns, prompts and lots of inspiration. There is the idea of using a sometimes overlooked method, textile work, for telling neglected stories. This can be seen as helping to highlight, record and share marginalised culture and experience, it can also be seen as be seen as very inclusive because we all have connections with textiles.

Many artists are interviewed, sharing their motivation and ideas. This is a wonderful combination with illustrations of their work. Some works are comforting, and others are disturbing. Some done by individuals, other collaborations. Many of the prompts would be great for recording oral histories as well as prompts for community art works telling local stories for public library local studies collections. A wonderful read which is also a call to action. It is likely to appeal to people who read for stories.

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