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  • Tal Batit for Collect Open. Photo credits: Anatoly Krinitzky

Collect Open: New Scales

Collect Open, supported by Sanlam UK, offers a unique opportunity to individual artists or collaborations to exhibit alongside world-class galleries at Collect. In the run up to the fair we’ll be looking at the themes explored by the artists and collectives who are producing 12 new ambitious craft-led installations for this year’s Collect Open.

This week we study the artists experimenting with scale, from the micro to the macro, as they test the boundaries of their work.


Margo Selby

Margo Selby’s concept Optical Thread consists of a series of three large handwoven artworks exploring patterns created by mathematical and digital systems through the manual weaving of 3 large panels, each comprised of over 20,000 individual threads.

The three works will be the largest to date made by the artist. The optical exploration of how colours mix in the eye when placed next to each other will be explored further using colourful mathematical stripe graduations that change the viewers perception of colour across the work.

“One of my primary fascinations is the dynamic relationship amongst colours; the way in which juxtaposed colours enhance or subdue each other and create secondary virtual perceived hues.”

The installation plays with scale, moving from micro to macro, testing the boundaries of expectation is part of her weaving practice. 

Each handwoven artwork is a development of weave structures blown up, oversized, and abstracted. The assembly of these pieces, which will be handwoven, panelled and stretched, allow the artworks to take on a new scale larger than would be expected from a traditional handloom. This new scale will give the work the presence in the brand-new backdrop of Somerset House.


Tal Batit

Ethnic: Synthetic by Tal Batit, takes its inspiration from the traditional carpet – a manifold of identities, hybridizations, colours and shapes. Weaved into it are stories and beliefs that have been preserved throughout time. Composing of several shapes, replicating themselves at differentiating heights, together they create a three-level carpet.

The different pieces are interwoven and create a three-dimensional pattern as a new and modern interpretation of a carpet. As opposed to the carpet we are familiar with, in which the graphic elements stay identical from every angle, the 3D effect of this carpet creates varied and diverse angles. It plays with the element of depth and creates shade and hidden colours, giving new life to the graphic element of the carpet.

The project is inspired by a traditional ethnic wall carpet, with the belief that new designs use existing ones, ask questions about them and look for ways to re-create through material, shape and colour.

For Collect Open, Tal Batit aims to create large scale versions of the Ethnic: Synthetic wall pieces using unique materials to the fair. In addition, the artist will create 3D sculptors based on that same principal of an element assembled out of multiple small-scale pieces.


Julia Griffiths Jones

Julia Griffiths Jones is creating a new body of work for Collect Open considering of a variety of scales for her installation.

No stranger to experimentation with scale, Julia began creating thin wire sacks whilst on her residency in India which she reviewed and developed increasing the gauge of steel considerably to make much more powerful and dynamic shapes. Large metal tassels were welded into the seams of the sacks, as they would have been in the cloth versions.

"Working three dimensionally, and in fabric is a new departure for me, and has come about following a three week residency in India in 2017, funded by the British Council, Wales Arts International, and the Arts Council of Wales. In Gujarat I was hosted by Khamir an NGO for rural crafts in Kachchh, and outside my bedroom door I could see yarn being made into hanks, and acres of indigo dyed cloth hanging up to dry in the scorching heat, gently moving in the breeze."

For Collect Open, one side of Julia’s installation will consist of a three-dimensional welded metal sack powder coated in bright colour to be presented alongside large-scale textiles designed and printed by the artist. Also, to feature, a mass of smaller wall mounted sacks full of utensils alongside the large-scale sack and textiles. The work is an exciting new prospect for the artist to incorporate the learnings from her residency in India on a colourful and joyful scale.


See the installations from Collect Open at Collect from 27 February - 1 March 2020 at Somerset House.


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