Sea of Silk, an exhibition at Islington’s Timeless Textiles between 14-20 July 2014, showcases the work of Shibori artist Omila Bir
The textiles in the exhibition capture the essence of nature, with their use of natural, chemical free and plant-based dyes and uniquely created fabrics, which Omila says are ‘made for the soul’. The artist uses shibori, a resist dyeing technique that creates unique designs due to the handmade processes necessary to produce them. On display in Sea of Silk will be a combination of new and traditional skills to bring contemporary pieces to textile lovers.
Omila has been commissioned to work with local designers, as well as internationally reputed businesses such as ‘Satya Paul’ from India. She has produced long lengths of fabric (up to 10 metres) using eco dyeing and eco printing.
The artist’s background is as an Occupational Therapy has helped her to understand the need to capture life’s optimal potential and accept challenges. Perhaps it’s this training that led her to work with textiles and utilise the potential in different weaves and textures and give them a vibrant energy of their own.
Omila’s art is sustainable and teaches lessons that only nature can teach. As her tactile bundles are opened, there’s an element of surprise.
“Textile lovers can enjoy the gifts imparted by nature as they put these fabrics to use,” she said, “feeling the breeze, the fragrance, sensitivity and colours as they are meant to be, without any pretence.”
Sea of Silk pieces show the unique colours created by mixing different plants, which would be impossible to recreate, even in a similar piece of fabric. Each piece is created for the user, a unique individual, and cannot be replicated.
Omila manipulates her textiles using various techniques to create resists so that the dye creates patterns but does not penetrate the fabric. The artist spends hours stitching, knotting, wrapping and unwrapping to produce an end product that comes out of the dye pot and is full of magic. She works with natural fabrics to allow full expression of the fabric, working with its weave and pliability and creating patterns which can only be created once. Watching Omila work, you will see the versatility of her skills in a range of fabrics, including pure wool, merino, silk pashmina and cashmere.
Sea of Silk exhibition opens between 14- 20 July 2014
Details are available on the Gallery website www.timelesstextiles.com.au