By Niki Collier:
Visual Artist Niki Collier awarded @CultureIreland support to curate a show at Gallery Kabllo, Vienna, in Austria from 15th September to 6th October in her newly developed technique Felt Stained Glass.
The technique which started as an attempt to keep spirits up during the first lockdown has captured the imagination of artists across the globe and has avalanched to a movement bringing artists together. 20 of the most interesting contemporary fibre artists will be on show to the discerning Viennese audience from 15th September to 6th October. The artist are from across the globe- UK, USA, Japan, Germany, France and Ireland.
The exhibition also features the ever-growing community panel of over 100 pieces developed through online and in person classes. The panel features artists of all ages- the youngest participant is 7 and the oldest is 80. Some are influential makers, some have made felt for the first time through this project.
Niki says that the award is not just a moment in her practice but a milestone – one of those true-life lessons. .She was often reminded through her practice to curb her enthusiasm- it is just a bit of craft and it would not have the reach of “Actual Art”. People warn her work would never be supported by the likes of #cultureireland . The support is proof that the work has merit beyond the medium in which it is made.
The exhibition celebrates a new technique in this medium. The felt stained glass technique is founded on the contrasting forces in nature: from chaos to structure and from destruction to mending. The world is broken and chaos shadows all aspects of our lives. As humanity we are not new to this, but as a generation, we needed re-assurance that it will pass and that all aspects of healing are meaningful. The technique is simple: create a fabric out of fibres, cut it into pieces and put it back together using embellishing to celebrate the places of mending. It is all done in the ancient textile making medium of felt.
The technique saw evolution in the three years that it has been used. Many beginners discovered felt making through it. It also ignited the creative juices of artists from around the globe and some of the most interesting fiber artists have contributed to this exhibition. The exhibition is going to Vienna after reportedly the most successful show at Pearse Museum in a decade.
The work in this engagement was supported by DCCI, OPW, CI.
It has been covered in almost every international magazine on felt.
Join Niki Collier at the launch Facebook Live 6pm GMT Thursday 15th September !