In her short film, ‘Whomade’, artist Shirley Chubb considers how landscape forms the basis of our existence & how communities are defined by their ability to use & process the produce of the world around them.
When visiting the Weald & Downland Open Air Museum Shirley was able to see first hand the ancient process of preparing flax & wool into yarns for weaving. She was fascinated by the extraordinary nature of transforming these materials into clothing that warms, protects & identifies us.
Shirley was also intrigued by the phonetic spelling of ‘homemade’ in the 1661 probate inventory of Sussex mercer, Walter Deane – ‘Item 1 yard 1/2 of dyed whomade cloth at 3s per yard’ – which suggests both the anonymity of the weaver as well as the connection between the cloth & the locality (‘homemade’ seems to have been a generic term used to describe a locally-produced but professionally-woven cloth).
The film that she produced reflects these various elements with the triptych format simultaneously showing us how making processes reflect the movement & the motion of the world around us. The linear motion also reminds us of the borders & edges that define our environments &, taken from film recorded in Sussex & Scotland, suggests the connective reach of the fundamental processes of spinning & weaving.