Lauren Li Porter’s leftovers
Started in Glasgow and later completed in London during the 2020 lockdown, Lauren Li Porter created this work from reconfigured sketches for textile pieces made, rejected, reworked, and collaged over the course of several years. The abstract forms drawn from both cities are complemented by the bands of white, creating a sense of order whilst also acting as a means of reducing waste in the improvisational quilting process.
Why did you put yourself forward for the open call?
I found the prompt of ‘process’ very apt in relation to my quilting practice and was interested in the idea of a diverse group show curated around the notion of work that explicitly references its means of manufacture.
I work with a wide range of beautiful fabrics that flat images rarely do justice and I love that the shared gallery/shop space opens the show up to a wider audience.
Tell me about this particular piece.
Started in Glasgow in 2019 and completed in London during the 2020 lockdown, I made this piece up from reconfigured sketches for textile pieces made, rejected, reworked and collaged over several years, with abstract forms drawn from the built environment of both cities.
All fabrics used in the Leftover Quilt are deadstock or samples destined for the bin, and this piece began as an approach towards reducing waste in the improvisational quilting process as well as the design studio.
In the course of making this piece, I moved to London after 14 years in Glasgow, started a new job and fell in love; as with any work produced over a protracted period of time, the final piece now functions as a physical manifestation of the life events it accompanied.
In providing a means of absorbing and provoking ‘failed’ sketches into a coherent form, this piece also embodies the particular process of contemporary quilting: a constant dialogue with work produced up to that point and the practical challenges of fabric construction.
Is this the kind of work you usually do?
I’m an architect and have been quilting in my spare time for about three years. I spent the majority of my working day making drawings that meticulously set out designs that I never personally make. I see the direct engagement with the act of making and the freedom to experiment with form making in quilting as a sort of antidote to my professional work as well as feeding into my creative process in a wider sense.
How do you connect to Paulin as a member of the Scottish creative community?
I first came to Glasgow to go to art school and then went on to spend the best part of my adult life (so far!) there. The majority of that time was spent in a state of constant astonishment at the inventiveness, variety and quality of the work coming out of the city.
I’m fortunate enough that without exception all of my friends are incredibly talented, and also that some of them could be persuaded (or coerced, depending on how you view it) into coming over and quilting with me when my obsession was at its most frenzied. The discussions that emerge from our quilting circle massively informed the way that I make work now, even now that they’re all via Zoom, and I think that Paulin is characteristic of this kind of open-minded engagement with other disciplines and focus on the primacy of craft in the development of products in a way that I find very appealing as an architect.