Polly Barton

Polly Barton: For over 25 years, beginning with her apprenticeship to traditional Japanese master Sensei Tomohiko Inoue, Polly Barton has used the medium and tools of classical ikat-dyeing and weaving to create luminous abstract and representational textile art. As a weaver, Polly works in a very painterly manner, building up layers of color to create stunning designs that convey highly emotional messages; at times bold, other times extremely subtle. She also uses the Japanese technique of E-kasuri or pictorial ikat to create more representational images.

Threads are the source of information and inspiration in my art: woven, drawn, beaten, tied and knotted. Ikat has been the means to a painterly approach and each new warp still presents a challenge to explore new imagery and reinterpret the woven contemporary from the woven traditional. The technique of ikat requires repetitive and pre-calculated knots tying to encode the design and dyed layers of color into the threads. Emotion, history, and continuity are tied into the thread as well.

Using silk with a Japanese metallic warp thread, my most recent work explores the idea of the space between warp and weft, and of surface light which is reflected in the alchemy of light in texture. Burnished on the surface, these woven icons of light were like trying to catch a thread and weave a ray of light with my bare hands.