Hannah White

Fluidity and Rigidity: Sculpture No. 4

‘Tailored’ is defined as ‘something specially made for a particular purpose or situation’.

‘Tailored’ in the context of clothing describes how a tailor uses thread and fabric to sculpt forms that fit the curves and dimensions of a specific body shape. This requires skilled craftsmanship and a tacit knowledge of how materials drape, combined with an understanding of the fabric weight, to create unique garments.

Hannah White’s Fluidity and Rigidity: Sculpture No. 4 links to the skilled craftsmanship practiced by tailors and to the industrial heritage of Sunny Bank Mills. This artwork combines Hannah’s tacit knowledge of woven textiles and her understanding of material characteristics. The three-dimensional form evolves through interacting with and manipulating her bespoke woven fabric to create a customised sculpted form.

Through her making process, Hannah ‘tailors’ specific conductive threads within a woven cloth to create an integral metal skeleton, using the process of electroforming. These conductive ‘active threads’ alter the qualities of the cloth when it is taken off the loom and finished. The conductive threads are positioned within the weave so that when metallised, they create a rigid structure, whereas the soft fabric compresses and folds. Hannah describes this process as ‘engineering with thread’.