Fibre: structure and surface 2022
Beverly Ayling-Smith is an artist and researcher, completing her PhD in 2016. Her practice-based Doctoral research at the University for the Creative Arts, Farnham, examined how cloth can be used as a metaphor for loss and how it can connect with the emotions of the viewer.
Beverly has exhibited widely in the UK and internationally and has work in the Whitworth Art Gallery in the UK and in collections in the USA. She has presented her research at international conferences and has had her work published in the UK.
In this new selection of work Beverly has created pieces extending her work using bedlinens as a holder of memory. Bedlinens act as silent witnesses to many natural processes in life such as birth, puberty, pleasure, disease, decay and death. They are in contact with the body for many hours every night, soaking up sweat and bodily fluids to create a very personal cloth impregnated with the identity of a person.
In this collection Beverly has used pillowcases as the main medium for her work. They have been used whole, deconstructed or torn apart. Some of them are family heirlooms whilst others are Army surplus from the Second World War. Each has a history, a memory from the time they were made or used.
Beverly uses a muted palette in these works reflecting on the dark nights and the multitude of events that the pillowcases have witnessed. Pillowcases witness our dreams and passions; they contain our tears from nightmares as well as from joy.
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