Simone Landwehr-Traxler: Spinning a Yarn


Exhibition: ART PARK Project Space at House for an Art Lover
 7th September - 7th October, 11am – 4pm

‘Spinning a Yarn’ is a creative investigation of Fair Isle’s unique knitting patterns. The project started with a footnote stating that these eponymous knitting patterns originated in Iberia having been passed to the islanders by shipwrecked Spanish Sailors in the1580’s.

Unpicking this casual statement with its huge implications of cultural osmosis and exchange, spanning the geographical and linguistic extremities of renaissance Europe, resulted in a 14 month creative investigation of the ‘intangible’ cultural heritage coded within these patterns.  To date this investigation has taken Landwehr-Traxler to Murcia, Andalusia, Shetland and Fair Isle and stimulated a number of ‘unconventional collaborations’ with crafts people, botanists, historians and a firm of luxury weavers.

The connections between the infinities of the Alhambra’s arabesques and the Fair Isle motifs defy both the simplicity of the romantic Victorian creation myth and more pragmatic explanations about the limitations of material and form.  The project examines how these patterns reflect and interpret the culture and landscapes which inspired them, particularly the interplay between light, water and land, and emphasises the unity of that experience which spans both traditions. 

Landwehr-Traxler’s intention is to broker a bond between Andalusia and Fair Isle looking beyond the obvious and amplifying the notion that the exchange of ideas, both implicitly and explicitly, is a necessity and cultural isolationism a fallacy. With the contrasting use of media and themes Landwehr-Traxler hopes to challenge the preconceptions which underpin our cultural traditions.

Spinning the Yarn’ is a project and work in progress. The presentation here in the Project Space in the Centre for Arts & Heritage at House for an Art Lover providing the artist with the opportunity to reflect upon her research and work so far. The project will continue to develop and travel with an exhibition in Shetland’s Museum & Archive in 2018 and a performance to and in Fair Isle also in 2018.

Simone Landwehr-Traxler (b. 1969 Munich, Germany) lives and works in Glasgow. Recent Commissions and awards include; Mapping the Void, an exploration of acquired brain injury in co-operation with Headway Glasgow and Glasgow University's Neuroscience department, 2017 & DEEP ROOTS, public art commission, East Ayrshire Council. Recent exhibitions include; Transformation, visual art & music collaboration, Thistle Gallery Glasgow, 2016, ARTenvielfalt, Villa Habersack Wartaweil, 2014, The Wild Project III, The Primary, Nottingham, 2014, Off the Grid, micro-residency, Anthropology department University of Edinburgh, The Dovecot, Edinburgh, 2014 & Re-Wilding, Xero Kline & Coma, London 2014