Fiber art enthusiasts in England—this event is for you! The rest of us will just have to look at the pictures and dream. The Harley Gallery in Nottinghamshire has invited Nora Fok to show a selection of her new work in a special exhibition, New Threads. The exhibition will continue through October 23, 2016, so you have some time to plan a trip! (Psst…admission is free!)
Nora is an artist who creates all of her work by hand, using only basic tools. She knits, knots, braids, and weaves nylon microfilament into elaborate jewelry, bodywear, and sculptures.
Originally trained as a graphic designer in Hong Kong, Nora moved to the UK to study wood, metal, ceramics, and plastics at Brighton Polytechnic. That was where her passion for jewelry-making took off. She had one instructor who was an avid angler, which was how Nora first began experimenting with nylon as a fiber art medium.
After moving back to Hong Kong, she continued experimenting with nylon because of the limited workshop space and materials available. Today, from her home studio in Hove, England, she interprets natural forms in nylon. She also channels the ornate designs of the Chinese operas she saw as a child.
The New Threads Fiber Art Exhibit
The New Threads exhibition at the Harley Gallery is broken into three sections. The first is called The Magic of Nature. It includes her latest pieces examining nature in all its facets. These pieces examine both the structures of natural systems and the mystery of that which we don’t yet understand. Science and mathematics are clearly visible in her work, through her intricate use of finely crafted nylon microfilament.
The second section, Exploring Flax, demonstrates her recent work with “Linlon,” a monofilament fiber she developed which combines nylon and flax. In making these pieces, Nora grew her own flax from local seed so she could study flax processing in depth. Her “linlon” work also incorporates flax seeds and seed pods.
The final section of the exhibition is called New Forms, New Technology. This section showcases Nora’s work with 3D printing, blurring the line between wearable textiles and sculpture.
For the best experience of the exhibition, you can sign up for a Walk and Talk on September 30th, where Nora will take you through New Threads and talk about her work. If you can make the exhibition or the meet-and-greet, I encourage you to do so, and then tell me all about it!