Why? Because it is illuminating about the connection between art and labour. The skill and craft that underpins construction – and it literally makes sense of the shifting position of women in the critical first half of the twentieth century.
There is a real joy to see both the camaraderie of women’s creativity and skills – on the beach and in the studios of Europe and the USA, to see the extraordinary looms that produce the wonderful patterns and fabrics – that all seem both so modern and contemporary, and yet also timeless. It is also bizarre to be shown that the skill of the weaver charts back through time immemorial.
Absorb some of the facts of Anni’s life and marriage – fleeing what became the holocaust, working round the interests and talents of her artist husband and his friends and we revisit so much fundamental history. But without doubt the real pleasure here is the art/craft itself. Take a look at the wonderful patterns and textures: beautifully curated, we are taken through process, product, outcome. But it is surprisingly enjoyable just to enjoy the layers of muted colour and blocking.
Worth a trip.