Mariko Tagawa




Knitting & Stitching Show

The 2001 Knitting & Stitching Show:

exhibited work

''That' in White No 2'

''That' in White No 5'


'Wrap No 1'


'Wrap No 2'


Description of my work:
Knitting attracts me because it is a process of building up stitches one by one, using the simplest equipment. It continues just as long as the fingers keep moving, and there is no limitation on what shape it can take. I like the tender hug of knitting, so long as it's not too cloyingly sweet.
Process: Knitting itself is the focus of my work. By looking at knitted pieces and feeling their textures, I try to draw out their interesting qualities and expand these into the images I make. 

Instead of making an image at the outset and sticking to it, I try to discover the eventual form through finding mutual ground between the work and myself, as it progresses. 
Even if I can't quite grasp its meaning at the time, I carry on knitting provided I am interested. Gradually some sort of shape starts to appear. It may not always be exactly what I hoped for, but it may well provide the key for the next stage. 
Inspiration: Many sources of inspiration come from my daily surroundings. When I go for walks I take photographs and sometimes make notes as a reference, and these are especially useful. I make various experimental pieces, which I call 'rubbish items'. These provide other points of reference. I don't make these items with any precise meaning or purpose in mind, but rather than just sticking to a specific technique or type of material I just follow my intuition. These exercises give me useful experience of a wide variety of materials and techniques.
Threads: Knitting is constructed by stitches. The overall impression is entirely dependant on the appearance of the stitches. 

In my series of pieces entitled 'That - in White', I chose tightly spun thread in order to maintain a neat appearance. By adding further spin to the ready-made shop yarn, I transformed them into a different thread. I enjoyed the experience of using my physical power to enforce the new spin against the natural resistance and tension of the thread. In order to soften the impression, I chose thread which contained wool and linen. The 'That' of the title, indicates the reactions of my own mind to these pieces.

In the series entitled 'Wrap', I used paper parcel string to express an image of dryness. Wetting this material made it weaker, but made it flexible to handle. When dry it became hard but retained much its original appearance.

Since starting these pieces, I have derived great pleasure from finding stimulation to the imagination in simple things.
Comment: I never expected knitting to become a means of communication. This was a delightful discovery and I feel its value is irreplaceable. Knitting has also led me to meet many people. I would like to carry on making in a manner that is honest to myself. 
Message: Showing work in public can have various implications. Whilst it is important to get reactions to my pieces, it also provides a distance between me and my work which allows some perspective. The exhibition at the 'Knitting & Stitching Show' is in such an entirely different cultural environment from the one I'm used to, that I would like to see if my pieces still send out the same kind of signals.