Textile artist Anna Ray – the winner of this year’s Brookfield Properties Crafts Council Collection Award – is heralding the country’s emergence from lockdown with an explosion of colour and energy. From 21 June, her large-scale works will be displayed across two Brookfield Properties venues in London, 99 Bishopsgate and nearby Aldgate Tower, in a vibrant celebration of textiles and our newfound freedom.
‘I’m interested in rhythm, symmetry, patterns that expand and contract,’ says Ray. ‘A lot of my work isn’t fixed and it might be arranged in another way in a different space. It has a vulnerability in that way, although the finessing is important as well.’ The exhibition is a homecoming of sorts for Ray, whose ancestry traces back to French Huguenot silk weavers working in the area in the 1700s. The exhibition’s title, On Tenterhooks, too, is a play on the phrase meaning nervous anticipation – which feels apt as we ease out of lockdown – and the hooked nails found on wooden tenter frames, which were used as far back as the 14th century in the process of making woollen cloth.