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The Architecture of Cloth, Colour & Space

16 March – 21 April 2012

In spring 2012 The Aram Gallery opened The Architecture of Cloth, Colour and Space, a solo show of the work of Ptolemy Mann. This touring exhibition, initiated by Ruthin Craft Centre and which opened there in November 2011, was a powerful colour saturated experience showing off Mann’s fantastic skill and her inventive approach to design practice. The exhibition showed a collection of recent work paying particular attention to a new IKAT collection which maintains a hand dyed and hand woven quality but adapted for digital print.


At the time of opening, it had been two years since Mann was both co-curator and exhibitor in The Aram Gallery exhibition Significant Colour. In that show the gallery touched the tip of the iceberg of Mann’s relationship with colour. Not adopting it as an afterthought but as intrinsic a cog as weaving in her design process; the two sit comfortably alongside one another at the core of her making. 


Since that show Mann has branched out into ceramics; a collaboration with Lubna Chowdhary, rugs; a collection with Christopher Farr, clothing with Eloise Gray as well as furniture collaborations with Kristian Stringer and Marina Dragomirova. In addition Mann has worked closely with architects such as Stanton Williams, on their use of colour on building facades. She advises them on how to weave colour into architecture, seeing buildings as looms, but on a monumental scale. 


The Architecture of Cloth, Colour and Space was adapted slightly from the show at Ruthin for The Aram Gallery. We paid great attention to these two aforementioned cogs, focusing closely on the detailed steps of Mann’s process from hank dying to the yarn being tied onto the loom ready for weaving.  This study will help to explain Mann’s technical skill as well as shed light on her emotive use of colour. Full scale furniture and woven artworks will exemplify how these steps are realised.  Architectural commissions will be explored through scale drawings.


The Architecture of Cloth, Colour & Space went on to open at Dovecot Studios, Edinburgh.


Ptolemy Mann is an artist, designer and colour consultant. She is based in the UK and has exhibited and lectured worldwide. After completing a BA at Central Saint Martins and an MA at the Royal College of Art in London she set up a studio practice where she has worked on a wide range of projects. Having trained as a weaver and specialised in making hand dyed and woven architectural, one-off artworks to commission she then expanded her practice to include designing commercial Ikat fabrics and products. She has also established a colour consultancy service with a specialization in colour for architectural facades. She teaches, curates and writes. 


Photographer Christina Theisen

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