Our inspiration has always been rooted in traditional crafts, so our head designer Kate was thrilled when a visit to London coincided with the Anni Albers exhibition at the Tate Modern.
Anni Albers was a Bauhaus trained textile artist who experimented with weaving and printmaking exploring the relationship between art and craft. She faced many obstacles, limited in which ‘Arts’ subjects she could study as a woman, and not least the second world war which forced both the closure of the Bauhaus school and the Albers’ to flee to America. But Anni manged to rise above these, creating inspirational pieces of art, shaping the field of design and changing the way in which people consider crafts.
I particularly found her processes used inspiring, seeing how she painted ideas and designs for textiles, before plotting them out carefully on paper and then weaving them. A loom was on display at the exhibition as well as paintings, woven artworks, prints and industrial designs that she did for interiors. I found it fascinating how she worked with other weavers in her later years in order to get them to recreate pieces of her work that were lost in the second world war.
At Nomads we work with handloom weavers in India to design and develop new fabrics each season which made the Anni Albers exhibition especially relevant and inspiring. The textures and techniques in the weaves were of particular interest. Of course, working commercially and to price points means that possibilities are more limited than those of an artist, but in some ways it is even more exciting working with the challenges this presents and manging to create exciting fabrics and scarves that people can wear and cherish! I always find the handloom coat fabrics that we create for Nomads exciting and like wearable works of art. There will be newly developed handloom textiles in our soon to launch Spring/Summer collection, as well as a very exciting new coat design in the autumn…
The Anni Albers exhibition is showing at the Tate Modern until 27th January - anyone interested in textiles should catch this exhibition before it finishes!