The Patternlab founders Jane Langley Kathleen Mullaniff Jennifer Wright

Kathleen Mullaniff, Jennifer Wright and Jane Langley have been curating exhibitions related to textiles since 2000, enabling artists to explore and interpret both historical and contemporary textile collections and archives. They have now formed The Pattern Lab. Working with textiles has shown that everything is connected and The Pattern Lab will be continuing to develop ideas relating to this expanded field, including science, history and society.

Paisley Exploding the Teardrop

In collaboration with The Pattern Lab, PM Gallery presents a show of new work exploring the roots of paisley – its origins, development over the centuries and the myriad uses to which it has been put. Eight international artists contribute to this sumptuous exhibition, which is sited across Sir John Soane's Pitzhanger Manor-House and Gallery.

Paisley: Exploding the Teardrop reflects the first appearance of the teardrop-shaped buta (buta means 'flower' in Hindi) or paisley motif in Babylon and its travels through time, continents and cultures. Paisley's evolution can be traced in textiles, painting and tiles, across India and into Europe in the18th century, mass production of the paisley shawl in Paisley, Scotland in the 19th century, followed by its widespread appearance during the 1960s, epitomising the influence of Indian culture on psychedelia. the stories of Paisley’s townsfolk or ‘buddies’ as they relate their hometown’s rich textile heritage.

The 'buta’' or paisley motif is surrounded by myth and legend. It has been likened to the young shoots of the date palm, which was necessary for existence, as it provided food, wine, thatch, wood, paper and string and is thought to have been the ‘prototype’ for the tree of life. Today the irrepressible paisley motif is part of the popular iconography of contemporary art and design.