Jill Davies Flow (c) Ken Lonseth

Jill Davies Flow (c) Ken Lonseth

7–23 May, 2020 Arkwright Mills, Cromford, DE4 3RQ
3–30 October, 2020 Kirkleatham Museum, Redcar, TS10 5NW

Tapestries showcasing the landscapes, industry and social history of Northern England

This stunning exhibition mixes regular and 3D tapestries, large and small, mounted and unmounted, purely woven and mixed-media, but all on one theme: our northern heritage.

The exhibition is curated and managed by northern members of the British Tapestry Group. Visitors will enjoy a range of works, from small try-outs by recent beginners all the way through to magnificent pieces by top-class commissioned artists. Entry is free, and includes have-a-go weaving sessions for adults and children, spinning demonstrations, and films of tapestry weaving. Weaving materials will be available to buy.

There are related talks for all levels of interest, and workshops for more experienced weavers. These events are ticketed:

• 6th May, Michael Crompton – Exhibition Preview and Talk: ‘Woven Tapestries, Woven Stories’
• 20th May, Ruth Bell – Talk: ‘Tapestry Weaving on Jewish Themes’
• 23rd May, Alastair Duncan – Talk: ‘Developing New Ideas in Tapestry’
• 17th May, Tan Draig OBE – drop-in tapestry weaving workshops: ‘Derwent Delights’
• 23rd May, Alastair Duncan – Workshop: ‘Weaving Sound’
• 23rd May, Jane Walkley – Workshop: ‘3D Mixed-Media Weaving’
See details below.

Wednesday 6th May, 6pm.
Talk by Michael Crompton

Michael Crompton grew up in the smoke and steam of industrial Lancashire. Though his grandmother warned him off a career in the mills, he was fascinated by them, and they became his playground. Discovering the Arts and Crafts tradition as he left school, he was drawn into other ways of weaving, and is now one of Britain’s best known tapestry artists. This is his story.

Sunday 17th May, 10am – 4pm
Drop-in tapestry weaving workshops with Tan Draig OBE

Drop in and help the artist Tan Draig OBE make mini-tapestries which will become part of book covers in a project celebrating the uniqueness of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site. This free workshop is enabled by Fleet Arts and supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts Council England.

Wednesday 20th May, 6pm.
Talk by Ruth Bell

In this illustrated talk, Ruth Bell describes her working methods and her tapestries. These include Biblical images and themes as illuminated by kabbalistic thought. Weaving samples will be available for handling.

Saturday 23rd May, 9.30am – 3.00pm
Workshop, led by Alastair Duncan
Weaving Sound

Weaving and sound have a shared vocabulary: we speak of colour, texture, pattern, shape, form, rhythm… The starting point for this workshop is a ‘sound walk’ around the locality, listening to and recording the ambient sound. Back in the gallery, we will use the recordings as a starting point for the selection of materials and the design of a simple woven tapestry.
There is no requirement to complete a piece of weaving during this workshop, but there will be a charge if participants want to keep equipment and materials; alternatively they can bring their own warped looms.

Saturday 23rd May, 2.30 – 5pm.
Workshop, led by Jane Walkley

Using three-dimensional hand-cast Jesmonite (an eco-friendly, acrylic polymer), participants will create colourful linear structures on a tapestry frame. These small tapestries, once cut from the loom, come into their own as they are manipulated into circles and spirals, allowing their tactility to be fully appreciated. The finished works take on a sculptural quality that melds traditional techniques with new material technology.

Saturday 23rd May, 6pm.
Talk by Alastair Duncan

Looking into the future is one of the most exciting challenges for an artist. In this illustrated talk, the prominent weaver Alastair Duncan first looks backwards to see how his work has evolved, then forwards to new developments in tapestry – particularly the integration of sound and the possibilities of sensory interactivity.

For more information contact: Sally Reckert sally@reckert.com

REVIEW: Heallreaf 3

Frances Crowe ‘Turmoil’ 150x125cm, cotton warp and wool weft. Photo © Shmueli Bell

The third biennial exhibition of contemporary tapestries from around the world

So many tapestry artists are drawn to the landscape as their source of inspiration. The flow of water runs through many of the works. Blue-greens, inky indigos and turquoises of waves, rivers, pools and splashes appear and reappear.

Review by Ruth Bell whose tapestry ‘Unifying Force: the Power of Giving’ can also be seen at the Heallreaf show.

Read the review at: Heallreaf3 – review by Ruth Bell

BTG Demonstrating Tapestry Weaving at the Vyne in Hampshire – till end August

Members from the BTG are demonstrating tapestry weaving at the Vyne, a National Trust house in Hampshire.
The tapestries from the house’s tapestry room are being conserved which has provided an opportunity for us to exhibit contemporary tapestries and explain the nature of tapestry weaving with a display of historical text panels, illustrative tapestry samples and showing visitors the techniques involved. The display continues to the end of the August.
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