Rigour’s defined as the quality of being extremely thorough and careful.  It can also encapsulate severity and strictness or harsh and demanding conditions.

And rigour can help define our textile and fibre art – I’m not into severity, strictness, harsh or demanding conditions.

However, I am very into being thorough and careful – traits that can really help define ourselves as artists and our art practice.

So if we engage in our work with rigour, it could mean we’re self-regulating and likely to have a set of protocols we adhere to.  Fantastic.

But I believe rigour also incorporates the notion of adaptability – being able to modify and adjust those protocols as and when needed.

And awareness of when to convert or amend our procedures takes skill and expertise.  It also shows a level of flexibility necessary to succeed in the competitive world of textile and fibre art.

This worldwide Covid Pandemic proves that.  How many more people are now online offering streamed classes, Zoom workshops, lectures and meetings.  Almost overnight the textile and fibre art industry has had to change and adapt to remain viable and successful – and it’s working.

As a field of expertise requiring close interaction on occasion, we’re now seeing more content on all social media platforms.  Just head on over to YouTube to see some amazing interviews, gallery viewings, lectures and beautiful imagery of work we most probably would never have seen otherwise.  I’m even uploading content onto YouTube now.

Now that alone’s a fantastic innovation, supporting and nurturing an industry that really deserves that extra spotlight and focus.  But what it really shows is rigour and adaptability.

And I believe the same applies to our own art practice – change to adapt where necessary, to maintain that level of rigour, diligence and flexibility.

The big question is when?

cathy jack coupland