Superfluus

Superfluous (adj.) from Latin superfluus, meaning literally “overflowing” from superfluere “to overflow,” from super “over” + fluere “to flow”.

At this time of climate change and ecological emergency, humans are creating an endless flow of waste, much of which ends up polluting our environment.

The textile industry is one of the biggest polluters, as fast fashion and global demand have eradicated traditions of mending, heirlooms and hand-me-downs.

This exhibition by London-based, Irish artist Helena Doyle highlights the global environmental impact of textile waste. The artworks on display are made entirely from waste or surplus material, recycled using traditional weaving, knotting and making techniques to show alternative ways to save cloth going to landfill.

These traditional techniques are inspired by the folk art that appears throughout history in every culture; for thousands of years people have used cloth to create objects that are not just decorative, but also protect the wearer, bring good luck or to celebrate a festive occasion. The creation of traditional or folk art is often a group activity, offering an opportunity for people to come together.

In these post-Lockdown times we now have the opportunity to come back together, reconnect and help form a culture of mending and creative reuse. This exhibition is an invitation to everyone in Hounslow to explore traditional techniques from global cultures, and experience the joy of folk art reimagined for our world today.

We will run monthly workshops throughout the exhibition, to show you how to make your own recycled pieces, and to bring Hounslow’s communities together to share, connect and create.