Image Jill Davies Flow (c) Ken Lonseth
Image Jill Davies Flow (c) Ken Lonseth

POSTPONED until Spring 2021


Arkwright Mills, Cromford, DE4 3RQ

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.

Summary (new dates to be advised)

Talks – ticketed, £8.50 each
• Michael Crompton – Exhibition Preview and Talk: Woven Tapestries, Woven Stories
• Ruth Bell – Talk: Tapestry Weaving on Jewish Themes
•  Alastair Duncan – Talk: The Challenges of Change

Professional workshops – ticketed, £25 each
• Alastair Duncan – Weaving Sound
• Jane Walkley – 3D Mixed-Media Weaving.

Drop-in workshops – free
• Wacky Wall
• Ibukun Baldwin – Ribbon Braiding
• Tan Draig – Derwent Delights


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.

Free drop-in workshop

Come and build a ‘brick’ in our wall! A great chance for children of all ages to help make a tapestry. A big loom is provided, together with colourful yarns, glittery beads, and labels so each weaver can immortalise their name in the work. Volunteer stewards are on hand to offer advice and help. Spend a minute on the Wacky Wall, or an hour, or come back again and again! (The beautiful yarns in the Wacky Wall have been generously supplied by Airedale Yarns of Shipley, West Yorkshire.)

Free drop-in workshop with Ibukun Baldwin

Ibukun Baldwin runs the ethical fashion and textile company Bucky Baldwin, based in Manchester’s Whitworth Art Gallery. Children of all ages are invited to join her in the fun of making colourful braided ribbons. You can take the braids home or weave them into our ‘Wacky Wall’ Do-It-Yourself tapestry. All materials are provided.

Free drop-in workshop with Tan Draig

Dr Tan Draig OBE has over 40 years experience of working with community groups. He was a Buddhist monk for 20 years, during which time he studied textile production and surface decoration techniques in Europe, India and Thailand. Drop in and help him 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 of Belper, and supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts Council England.

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.

Professional workshop, led by Alastair Duncan

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.

Professional 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.

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 possibiliåties of sensory interactivity.

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

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