Over Under : Under Over

Exploring weave in it’s wider context

Presented as part of:


22 Dec 2019 – 30 Jan 2020

Royal Scottish Academy Upper Galleries

The Mound


Free Entry


We at Cordis are embarking on an exciting new project as part of our mission to promote tapestry weaving, and it’s cultural and historical significance to the City of Edinburgh. In December 2019/January 2020 we will be teaming up once again with our friends at Visual Arts Scotland to present a curated selection of artworks that explore wider applications of the woven form.

 Straying from our usual adherence to the traditional principals of woven Gobelin tapestry, this project aims to explore the wider applications of the woven form. We have selected six artists whose work is constructed in a similar way to tapestry, or whose techniques resonate with the principals of weaving, whether that be through the interlacing materials or of repetitive gesture.

Our select showcase will be presented within the wider context of the SSA & VAS joint Annual Exhibition at the Royal Scottish Academy, Scotlands flagship exhibition venue. OPEN SSA+VAS promises to be the largest and most diverse exhibition of contemporary art and craft to be held in Scotland this year, giving an expected audience of over 30,000 people the opportunity to discover and enjoy artworks across all mediums.


Dail Behennah

Dail Behennah is an artist, maker and geographer.

The paper works in this exhibition are made with a three dimensional, three directional plaiting technique. By creating this undulating and faceted surface Dail draws with the light that falls on it. It could represent a landscape on any scale; from mountains, hills and valleys, to the texture of a minutely observed path. The gold of the paper used to create Shimmer refers to the historically high status of tapestry, which often incorporated gold thread.

The two constructed willow works also refer to geology. Fracture is inspired by a section of cliff which fractured after a winter storm. Ceibwr refers to the cliffs at Ceibwr in Pembrokeshire; classic examples of complex folds and faults.

Sue Lawty

Lawty’s work is rooted in an emotional, spiritual and physical engagement with the land.

Through repetitive structure and construction she tacitly and meticulously explores material qualities that are inherently given by the substance she chooses to work with, quietly drawing the viewer in to observe the subtlest of nuances.

“The land and textiles both embody structure and time. Although seemingly diametrically opposed, each carry a strong tactile element and can engender primal and deep visceral responses of connection, narrative and memory. Fabric places us in the continuum of human time but when we pick up a small rock we are connected to deep time.”

 In this exhibition the artist’s media are found stones. By collecting, organising and ordering thousands of tiny rock fragments ground down by the wild Pacific Ocean, Lawty creates a kind of pixilated cloth in which she bring to our attention the minute variances of each unique found mark.

 The idea for this pair of drawings developed intuitively and directly from the material. Almost uniform in size, the stones are laid on a measured grid; their tonal variation and random placement creating a fragmentary picture plane; the hidden language of place.


Celia Pym

 This new work plays with and uses up odd socks and second hand washcloths. Studio leftovers.

Celia uses sports socks to teach darning on. Cutting a hole in the sock she demonstrates stitching in a warp and then how to weave it to create a darned spot. These sampler socks get covered in holes and marks, the stitched surface built up slowly and unintentionally. Similar to the way wear and tear layers up in damaged and repaired surfaces.

Craft is figuring is out what to do with leftovers.

Celia has exhibited widely in the UK and beyond, and has worked on a number of publicly engaged projects which aim to bring the value of mending to a wider audience.

Elizabeth Ashdown


Elizabeth is a London based artist and designer who creates distinctive hand woven Passementerie and textile artworks from her studio at Cockpit Arts in Deptford.
Only one of a few hand Passementerie weavers remaining in the UK, Elizabeth creates unique, intriguing and distinctive mixed media work for a variety of commercial and private clients. Traditional weaving techniques are combined with an energetic use of colour, pattern and material combinations to create contemporary, exclusive one-off pieces, both large and small.

Sarah Jane Henderson


Through colour, material and craft, Sarah-Jane creates innovative surfaces that build on traditional embroidered techniques, that provoke curiosity and physical interaction, particularly at a time where the term ‘interaction’ is heavily used in a digital context. With a hands-on approach, her practice creates a dialogue around the importance of interaction and positive relationships, with a significant focus on emotional health and well-being of young people today.


Sadhvi Jawa


Sadhvi  is intrigued by the theme of co-existence between old and new communities, the pull and push, the making and claiming that goes into trying to stay a part of the evolving landscape. This aspect is particularly evident in a city like Bangalore (India) which, like many other cities around the world, is facing the challenges of urbanisation. What was once known as a ‘garden city’ is today known for its IT industry. Having lived here for about 13 years now, She proudly calls it her second home, a city where she feels she belongs. Sadhvi seeks to share the narrative of Bangalore’s changing ecological, visual and social identity through art.