This month, Nottingham’s Bonington Gallery (part of the Nottingham Trent University School of Art and Design campus in the centre of our beautiful city) played host to a celebration of textile technology and history. Nottingham was built on textile design and production (predominantly lace) and although our once thriving textile sector fell into decline following World War II, you don’t have to go very far to see the influence this foundation of industry and design has had on our little city.
The ‘Knitting Nottingham’ exhibition featured pieces from artists, researchers and internationally recognised designers to challenge any previous perceptions of knitting and place it firmly at the forefront of creative innovation. It looked both forward and back in time at the way that knitting has been (and could be) designed and created; and focused on how technology and knitting work together to challenge and push boundaries – including beautifully designed garments, 3D prints and even an electro-plated knitted tea set (sadly I didn’t get a picture of this last one)!
It was also very nice to see the commemorative poppy, designed specially by Sir Paul Smith, proudly on display!
Sadly Knitting Nottingham comes to an end tomorrow, but I hope this encourages more of the same types of exhibitions as I’ll certainly be popping along to the next one that comes along! My perceptions were seriously challenged, cementing and reinforcing my feeling that knitting is a modern, inventive and innovative practice. I personally found it refreshing to see knitting championed by designers and to see it presented in such unusual and contemporary ways!