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4 Sep

Matty Bovan to Present Ceiling-height Sweater at Now Gallery

Clothier Matty Bovan, who took home last 12 months’s Woolmark Prize, is the most recent artist to take over the Now Gallery in London’s Greenwich Peninsula to present his art installation Ribbons.

From Nov. 30 to Feb. 20, 2023, the gallery space shall be full of a ceiling-height hand-knitted sweater that invites visitors to explore the colourful tent-like structure and watch the experimental film “Ribbons,” which documented how Bovan created the large piece of knitwear.

The space may even have a special soundscape and be full of scents of geranium and lavender.

The commission goals to “reexamine their views on fashion, art, textiles and craft while encouraging them to dream and wander off within the extraordinary world of Matty Bovan,” the gallery said.

Bovan said “Ribbons” explores “a more intimate and special place” in his world.

“My grandma taught me to knit at age 11, and I even have never looked back. Passing down skills and exciting people about craft is a central focus of my work,” the designer from Yorkshire said.

“Ribbon is often used as a trim or flourish in fashion and craft; here I’m taking the concept of a small-scale, somewhat apologetic trim, and blowing it up with full brute force of energy and hardcore craft. There may even be a probability for people to get entangled with interactive show elements, which illustrate the importance — and fun — of crafting and making things yourself,” he added.

Jemima Burrill, curator at Now Gallery, recalled how Bovan excited her when she was watching his online presentation through the lockdown.

“The film he created was nothing like anything I had seen before. It struck a nerve and made fashion exciting again even on the bleakest hour. He needed to be the following Now Fashion Commission, whatever he got here up with would rupture our space and make us take into consideration clothes, life and who we’re — another way,” she said.

Previous artists who’ve shown at Now Gallery include Yinka Ilori, Manjit Thapp, Joy Yamusangie, Nicholas Daley, Mowalola, Phoebe English, Molly Goddard and Lydia Chan, who last 12 months transformed the curved facade of the art space right into a futuristic fantasy world through an array of vivid colours, augmented reality interactive components and alien-shaped creatures.

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