Gail Jones
MA/MSc Textiles

Gail Jones

Movement & Flow 

Chinese calligraphy is an ancient expressive art, an abstract beauty of lines and rhythms. Inspired by the flow of the ink and movement of the calligrapher’s brush, gave me my starting point for this project where I have focussed on knitting using a domestic machine. My research into different yarns led me to a paper-based thread mixed with lurex and cotton to give a strong usable yarn. For this garment I have chosen a simplified colour palette of old gold and cream. Gold is such an important colour in Chinese art and society, symbolising wealth, richness and a colour of good fortune. My garment with its knitted swirls depicts the ink flow on a manuscript, not necessarily seen as Chinese characters but random shapes and forms. The undergarment with its long lines represents scrolls of manuscript paper ready for the calligrapher's brush marks.

A circle represents the Chinese concept of fulfilment, perfection, and unity. It protects against chaos and unpredictability, a natural order and progression. My outer garment with its chaotic swirls and movement, then the simpler undergarment having a calmer more controlled feel. The changing of tension with the addition or reduction of stitches, enabled my work to take a more sculptural form. Stitching the numerous knitted swirls onto a fabric base, gave the cape its richness and ceremonial look.  Further research led me to the work of poet Du Qiuniang, who emphasised in her poem The Golden Gown, a simple but strong message of not paying too much attention to a material life but to cherish time instead. My printed ribbon with its characters from The Golden Gown poem winds its way through my garment like the characters on a calligrapher’s scroll, as a reminder for us to live life to the full.   

Dr Lee Kai Hung Bursary Award