Every year, the textile industry uses in excess of 370 billion litres of water. Thirsty fibre crops like cotton require artificial irrigation, and subsequent contamination of water from fertilisers and pesticides make it unfit for other purposes like drinking water and agriculture. In addition, the colouring of cloth diverts water into mills, expelling toxic waste into streams after dyeing. These are the macro issues of a global industry, but the micro habits of laundering our textiles is now widely considered to have more impact than growing fibre, processing yarn, and the ‘cut and sew’ phases of the life-cycle.
Water - Colour reveals lines that link textile processes to water, creating a sensory environment that invites you to take part - dip your hands into the vat to dye a piece of cloth and over time, see the vat and rinse water recycled until the colour runs out. This unconventional dye method makes a gradation of colour illustrated by a large-scale textile installation and the suspension of indigo dyed cloth, in Arthaus’ five-storey high atrium space. Once the dye vats are exhausted, the final stage of the exhibition will see the dye stations replaced by a sewing workspace, and the collective making of dyed cloth into quilts.
There will be a public programme of talks and workshops to accompany Water-Colour from Thursday 19th – Sunday 22nd September and live dyeing demonstrations every day during the London Design Festival. Bookings are recommended for talks and workshops (through Eventbrite).
Please join us at the official launch party Tuesday 17th September 2013, 6pm-9pm.