Saturday, 11 February 2012

Ptolemy Mann

It would be difficult to define Ptolemy Mann as just a weaver as her extensive appreciation of colour theory and growing interest in architecture has allowed her to cross boundaries with her work. Her distinctive ikat style panels and random minimalist architectural forms have an extraordinary calming effect thank to her research on the psychological impact of colour. As well as Anni Albers, she is greatly inspired by the dynamism of the Bauhaus school. Later this year, the Barbican is holding a Bahaus exhibition which I am looking forward to visiting as I know relatively little about this period of art and design.

What I found most compelling about the exhibition was the artist's foray into the realms of architecture and the environment. Without using cloth, just with the application of panels of colour she has designed building facades such as King's Mill Hospital which do indeed look like woven pieces. Her affinity for strong, harmonizing colours all created by hand-dyeing should be highly commended for their dramatic presence and calming effect.

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