Walking Weaves – Elspeth Penfold

A small weave using mixed materials which are blue and grey.
Walking Weaves Photo Credit: Elspeth (Billie) Penfold
A small weave using mixed materials which are blue and grey.
“Blue”, number 20 in series of Walking Weaves.  Photo Credit: Elspeth (Billie) Penfold

Walking Weaves is a series of weaves I made during the first lockdown. My initial idea came through Promeneur by Sheila Hicks, a piece I have always loved. Promeneur is a small weaving made on a little portable loom that is made of stretch bars. These were used by Hicks as private expressions or ramblings. Ramblings seems a particularly apt terminology. Hicks has made thousands of these since graduate school.  

I decided to make daily small weaves during this period of self- isolation. These reflected walks I have done, walks I missed, imaginary walks and walks I was looking forward to doing in the future. Each weave was made in the evening and posted on my Instagram page the next day. The postings became a diary as I reflected on the walk that day. I am in the process of uploading their stories on my website.

Elspeth (Billie) Penfold (MRSS FRSA) is a textile artist who combines walking, weaving and performative storytelling. Billie uses hapticity and psychogeography to explore narratives. She hand-spins ropes which are knotted by participants as part of performative events.  

In 2014, Billie formed a group called Thread and Word that delivers funded arts-based projects through performed poetry. Through this group Billie uses digital media, sound and locative mapping to create hybrid, in person and digital walking events. Billie’s approach to multi-layered storytelling is influenced by her Andean background. Her practice allows for many voices, moving away from a linear view of the world and avoiding a linear interpretation. In 2020 Billie’s Thread and Word project A Different Lens was awarded an honourable mention at the international festival Soundwalks September. Billie has just completed her MA in Creative Events Management at Falmouth University