Materials Innovation supported by The Clothworkers' Foundation - Shortlisted 2015
Rita Parniczky’s work is to reveal the interior form which makes fabrics function, that of the union of weft and warp. It is she says, ‘a story where hidden patterns are waiting to be brought to light underneath the surface of the fabrics; I show what I imagine to exist if the fabric was x-rayed’. Traditionally, the warp is integrated and often hidden from sight by the weft, but Parniczky seeing it as the skeleton of the fabric became curious about what shapes and patterns were underneath the surface during her final year of study at Central Saint Martins. So she devised a technique of weaving which made the warp and the weft visually distinct from one another by using translucent monofilament and cotton, then manipulating the warp to produce patterns and designs whilst the fabric was on the loom. Thus, the manipulation caused the ‘skeleton’ of the fabric to reveal and display itself, making it central to the textile piece. She has developed this innovative practice to the stage where she has mastered the weaving of her material and can predict and control the effect and appearance of the end result through a series of experimentations and practices, calling the results X-Ray Fabric. Predominantly, her current pieces are constructed solely from transparent monofilament as it gives off a sensational ‘glow’ and responds to the flow of light to transform, like ice, or glass, as reflective and imitative of its surroundings.
Her first major exhibition pieces are part of the current show 'Building with Textiles' at the TextielMuseum Tilburg, where two seeming opposed works have been created through the same hand weaving method. One is 'CrystalClear', a flat piece where the patterns of the fabric are subtly revealed through the difference in the viewers experience from alterations of light and angle, organic components of the exhibit. The other is 'Pleatflow', a structural piece of extreme density of the eponymous pleats, constructed from over 10,000 metres of monofilament, which took 2 months to construct. Whilst Paniczky’s work is technically machine-produced, her process is currently only possible by hand, making each piece unique but very labor-intensive. Pleatflow, with its structural rigidity, is sculptural in its nature and represents the diversity of Paniczky’s method. A site-specific piece was on display in Norwich Cathedral in October 2014 which shows how diverse her influences and inspiration can be; she produced a piece adding smoke shade monofilament to her normal transparent material and using an off-white rayon floss to represent the qualities of native silver; these three yarns woven together produce a complex and varied shading to the material. The architectural structures of fan vaults of Norwich Cathedral inspired her to develop her control over the monofilament warp to shape complex patterns. Evocative of Christian relics and biblical allegories, organic and decomposing materials, death shrouds and rituals of baptism and burials, this piece makes clear the artistry and technical knowledge Rita Parniczky has.