Izzy Dabiri – Weaving as a critique of capitalism

4 Pillars (2019)

“Dada’s critique of capitalism and oppressive structures, this is something that is integral to my work. It is intentionally slow ‘women’s’ work, the process being part of the piece completely”

Izzy Dabiri

While travelling and studying in Mexico, Izzy completed the piece ‘4 Pillars’. The inspiration are the Orisha, specifically four figures, who are traditionally revered in Yoruba spiritual practice. The piece is naturally hand dyed wool and woven on peddle loom in Teotitlan del Valle, Mexico in the studio of Federico and Lola Chavez Santiago.

Izzy’s work challenges a central tension within Dadaism by emphasising the labour intensive elements of ‘women’s’ work. Drawing links with Sophie Taeuber-Arp’s turn to textile, weaving provides a way of expressing the twentieth-century’s abstract forms through an intensive making process. Taeuber-Arp’s approach to Dada saw her embroider, weave, whittle, dance and sculpt, activities that were often considered subversive. These forms of active making are further brought to the fore as Izzy explores relationships between women and textiles; the slow, embodied intensive labour of making. For Izzy, abstraction on the loom reflects a frame of political and cultural concepts including labour rights and ancestral and diasporic histories and their connections. The labour in the making, is for her, a space to meditate on many of these concepts.

The process is intentionally slow and is as much part of communicating and storytelling as the finished pieces.

My work is cognizant of pasts; images, histories and dreams. At the same time it also very much looks to futures, Feminist theory, in particular Black Feminist theory, as well as Post-Colonial works are fundamental to how I understand and see the world, and therefore to how I create…

Izzy Dabiri

Abstraction works really well on the loom, I find that distilling and translation really interesting

Izzy Dabiri

Bio: Izzy Dabiri is an Irish/Nigerian maker and artist currently based in the U.K. Having trained in bespoke tailoring Izzy understands deeply how to mould, manipulate and speak with cloth. Her textile practice has different branches with current explorations in tapestry weaving and embroidery. Her work questions traditional concepts of ‘making’ and craft.