Marilyn Rathbone

Marilyn Rathbone


Marilyn Rathbone’s work intrigues. Ideas evolve, one thing leading to another, to another … to create a strong, cohesive body of work, each piece resolved according to its own logic, each piece unique. The work is pared down, Marilyn’s aim to blend concept and content as simply as possible.

Pi in the Sky

Pi has been calculated to trillions of digits, memorised to thousands. How many do we really need? To calculate the circumference of the observable universe to within the width of an atom – just the first thirty-nine. Here they are, circled in the colours of the cosmic spectrum.

Dimensions: 27x84 cm | Materials/Techniques: Hand-woven silk Inkle braids, painted wooden battens, hand-wrapped brass rings

Bauhaus Braids

Kandinsky, Bauhaus artist/lecturer, saw colours as shapes. Numbers can be shapes, too. Colours, shapes and numbers combine in a set of three fine silk braids: triangular numbers (yellow, “sharp”, edgy); square numbers (red, “earthbound”, balanced); and circular numbers (blue, “spiritual”, the colour of the heavens).

Dimensions: Reels: Circular: 8(dia)x1.7, Square: 7x7x1.7, Triangular: 9x7.7x1.7, Braids: 0.5x135 cm (average length) | Materials/Techniques: Hand-woven silk Inkle braids, hand-made reels

100 Metres Dash

In 2011-12, Marilyn challenged herself to weave 100 metres of braid in the colours of the Olympic symbol. The marathon undertaking took a year and a day to complete. While creating the braid she kept notes, releasing regular bulletins and progress reports as though she really was an athlete in training.

Dimensions: Reel: 37x17.7(dia), Braid: 10,000x0.7x0.5 cm | Materials/Techniques: Hand-dyed and hand-woven silk Lucet braid, painted wooden reel, 54 page book & DVD record of the event

Equivalent IX

Equivalent IX consists of nine sets of nine counters, each set a different colour. It was inspired by Carl Andre’s “Equivalent VIII”. Andre’s work champions bricks (his grandfather was a bricklayer). Marilyn’s celebrate buttons (her grandmother sewed buttons onto cards for a haberdashery).

Dimensions: Each Counter: 3.3(dia)x0.7, Box: 10.0x11.1x11.3 cm, layout variable | Materials/Techniques: Brass rings hand-wrapped in hand-dyed silk (to form Edwardian Lace Shirtwaist buttons), hand-made box, instruction booklet

 PI IN THE SKY (detail)
 PI IN THE SKY (close up detail)
EQUIVALENT IX – opening the box sequence

Worthing, England



Workshops: Yes
Talks: Yes
Commissions: Yes