In many ways, Ross’ fascination for Japan informs his work as much as the influence of his African childhood. Concepts such as Wabi-sabi and Kintsugi have each inspired collections and installations, and classic texts such as ‘How to Wrap Five Eggs’ continue to inspire him.
There are distinct overlaps in the concept of craft from both cultures, whether traditional Japanese weaving or West African resist printing, Boro to Kuba. This in turn has led to his current area of research in traditional grass woven outerwear, and researching Japanese resist printing using pastes and the tannin iron complex.
‘Journey the rePrint’ embraces the tannin iron complex. Traditionally used in dyeing Kimonos black, the tannin is used on the fibres to weave the fabric, the woven fabric is then pulled through an iron rich clay. The resulting fabric is black wherever the tannin was present.
Using the original Journey‘s rust printed sheeting with a selection of foliage, Ross is creating a series of natural prints on the fabric. This is very much a work in progress, with the first series of prints having being exhibited at The Japanese Textile + Craft Festival.
As part of the printing process Ross uses silk fabric to bind the bundle before the dyeing and steaming process begins. These pieces are forming new series of silk prints.
‘journey the rePrint & the negative’
unbundled silk organza negative print & recycled Journey, cotton contact print
The Festival of Natural Fibres
8th & 9th October
Craft Central London E14 3AE
Journey has been presented in many guises over the years. Starting in 2018, Ross was invited to create a site specific piece for the Contemporary Textile Fair at the the Landmark Art Centre, Teddington. The result was ‘Journey‘, 120m of naturally dyed and rusted recycled hotel sheets commenting on migration, refugees and the global imbalance of resources.
Ross revisited ‘Journey‘ in the modern eccentrics Open September at The Florence Trust St Saviours in 2020.
‘Journey Retraced takes the original fabric and retraces our current circumstances through the eyes of Jonathan Dredge. For this installation, Jonny faced with a much smaller churchyard and only two thirds of the fabric remaining, which has given the new installation a very personalised feel.’
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