Silk Maps – The Portsmouth Corset

Nicola Crowson (Curator), Tina Wallbridge (Curator)

Research output: Non-textual formExhibition


The university celebrates its 30th Anniversary the weekend of 10th September 2022. To mark this event the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries is putting on a showcase of work by our staff and alumni.

The work exhibited is:

Silk Maps – The Portsmouth Corset

Set within the island city of Portsmouth this work explores stories of the city and makes connection to the Portsmouth Corset Dialogue. The city stories take the form of physical mapping experiments. The work plays with scale play from globe to city structures, forts, fields to body and hand all related to uncovering the hidden history of Portsmouth corsetry. These mappings layered the masculine military fort structures within the city and the corset pattern structures to reveal hidden histories of the city and new ways of seeing the island city.

These represent our continuing practice and research exploring how stories form spatial textiles (spatial textiles (Fangqing Lu 2016)), which can structure, inform and enhance our understanding of cities and place (context).

• uncovering/peeling back layers of stories and historic maps

• to reinterpret our understanding of context

• to inform contemporary architectural and urban design that resonates in place

The silk maps as characters were presented as part of 'the Map Room’ which itself presents Portsmouth, its ring of forts and fortifications, as a constellation of stories.

‘The map room’ is the first in a series of ‘pop up’ exhibitions within ‘hidden spaces’ otherwise inaccessible to the public. Photographed here in Store House 9 is within the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard wall

The following work was exhibited:
Image 1: Silk Escape maps and map room in Store House 9 within the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard wall
Image 2: Silk Escape maps in Store House 9 within the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard wall
Image 3: Silk Escape maps in Store House 9 within the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard wall
Image 4: The Portsmouth Corset Dialogue – working process

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationPortsmouth
PublisherUniversity of Portsmouth
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sept 2022
EventUniversity of Portsmouth 30th Anniversary Celebration - Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Duration: 10 Sept 202211 Sept 2022


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