Contemporary Scottish artist Jim Lambie (b.1964) collaborated with Dovecot Studios in 2016 for his first exploration into the medium of textiles to create Soft Machine.
Influenced by movements in art history and responding to the psychology of space and colour, Lambie often references popular culture and makes use of everyday objects to transform their form and function. Inspired by his series of works which manipulate metal and utilise colour, the design for Soft Machine emulates the artist’s seven sheet aluminium artworks and combines his striking 2D visuals with an aspect of sculptural work.
Translating metal and paint to textiles presented a challenge to Lambie which was tackled through a collaborative approach with Dovecot tufters Dennis Reinmüller and Kristi Vana. In order to achieve a 3D image, Reinmüller and Vana carved into the tufted rug with precision to create a cleaner line than they had ever mastered before. This fostered a nearly whimsical approach to capture the 3D elements by using a trompe l’oeil effect.
Soft Machine will be included in Dovecot’s curated selection of works for Collect 2021, international art fair for contemporary craft and design, online until 26 March.