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Artist

Eloise Grace Rapp

Where I work

I live and work on Gundungurra and Darug land, also known as the Blue Mountains, just west of Sydney. The climate is cool and lush, and my humble studio space is surrounded by an immeasurable amount of plants and wildlife – particularly native parrots, whose personalities I find endlessly entertaining. I’m grateful to be working in such a vitalising and ancient place.

What inspired my work

I was inspired by the tenacity and resilience of the fabric sellers working in the Yen Chow Street Hawker Bazaar, or ‘Pang Jai’, one of the last remaining hawker bazaars in the Hong Kong. I wanted to create a textile response embodying the unique character of Pang Jai and its importance within Hong Kong’s ever-changing socio-political landscape. Weaving is a connective, strengthening action, one that seems fitting for a community whose livelihoods have been woven together for over 50 years. This work is a dedication to Pang Jai, an irreplaceable part of the city’s living heritage.

How I made it

Eloise Rapp, Weaving Pang Jai, 2019; Weft fabric contributed by 24 hawkers of the Yen Chow Street Hawker Bazaar; cotton warp; cotton embroidery; 38×160cm

Each of the sellers was invited to contribute a fabric scrap of their choice. These scraps were then split into yarn and re–woven into a new cloth, embodying the unique character of the Pang Jai. The surname of every fabric seller has been embroidered on the surface of the finished woven cloth.

What I am working on

I’m currently teaching textiles at UNSW Art and Design and working towards launching a responsible textile design studio in the Blue Mountains in western NSW.

About me

Eloise Rapp is a designer and researcher dedicated to transforming the fashion and textile industries by promoting sustainable and ethical practices. Her work is process-driven, with a strong emphasis on experimentation, collaboration and community engagement as a way to humanise textiles. She has worked for over ten years as a textile designer in the fashion industry and has studied traditional textile methods in Japan and Taiwan. She brings her passion for responsible making and sustainable futures to her work as a lecturer at UNSW Art and Design.

www.eloiserapp.com

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