Fabric: Touch and Identity



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Compton Verney, Warwickshire
14 March – 14 June 2020

This exhibition explores how clothes and textiles conceal, reveal and seduce through the lenses of art, design, fashion, film and dance. How fabric helps to shape and communicate identity, expresses sensuality and sexuality, and its symbolism in different cultures. Developed by Alice Kettle and Lesley Millar from the book The Erotic Cloth, Bloomsbury Academic, 2018, which includes Rideal’s chapter, The Echoes of Erotic Cloth in Film. Rideal’s work was positioned at the start of the show hung between Reynold’s painting of Mrs. Baldwin in Eastern Dress, 1782 and a projection of Serpentine Dance, a Lumière Brothers c.1899 film recording of Loie Fuller (or Papinta) dancing with her arm/wing cloth extensions.

The Echoes of Erotic Cloth in Film by Liz Rideal