Tapestry Here and Now Exhibition

Home, Press

Major exhibition of contemporary tapestry to open at Holburne Museum, Bath

Tapestry: Here & Now
The Holburne Museum, Bath
23 June – 1 October 2017

Tapestry: Here & Now, an ambitious survey of contemporary tapestry, is on show at the Holburne Museum, Bath from 23 June to 1 October 2017. To celebrate the exhibition, an important tapestry from the Museum’s own collection will be on public display for the first time.

Tapestry: Here & Now showcases the most innovative approaches to tapestry and the breadth of international talent in contemporary practice. The exhibition presents a diverse mix of UK practitioners shown alongside artists from Finland, Latvia, Norway, Japan, USA, Canada and Australia, emphasising the contemporary relevance of tapestry both nationally and internationally.

Each of the exhibition pieces represents a moment in the development the artist’s career, textiles making and contemporary society more broadly. The works demonstrate the ways in which the narrative heritage of the medium is used by artists to engage with political, aesthetic and personal issues of contemporary relevance.

Wide-ranging themes of enduring relevance are explored throughout the exhibition, including how we respond to the natural and man-made world around us. Barbara Heller’s Ozymandias looks at landmines as a potent symbol of how the innocent suffer from the effects of war. Kristin Sæterdal’s New Territory poses questions about technology and its role in saving or causing an environmental catastrophe. 6704-13 by Pat Taylor portrays Muslim refugees alongside political figures, while Self-portrait 1 by Erin M. Riley depicts the artist’s own tattooed body as if posted on social media.

The ‘Arts’ Tapestry (1934-5) by Edward McKnight Kauffer will also be on show for the first time. This tapestry from the Holburne Museum’s own collection is an extraordinary representation of the importance of the arts. A seated muse-like figure holds an open book, beside a globe and a fluted Ionic column, reflecting the importance of understanding classical art and architecture. McKnight Kauffer (1890-1954) was an American-born designer, best known for his many poster designs for London Transport. This tapestry was made on a loom in Old Church Street, Chelsea, while the designer was working in London.

McKnight Kauffer’s tapestry was purchased for the museum in 1972 from the Handley-Read collection. At the time the Holburne housed the Craft Study Centre, a unique collection and archive of twentieth-century British crafts including pottery, woven and printed textiles, calligraphy and furniture. The Crafts Study Centre has moved to a purpose-built home at the University for the Creative Arts, but crafts remain at the heart of the Holburne’s contemporary programme.
Curator of Decorative arts at the Holburne Museum, Catrin Jones, said: ‘We are thrilled to bring to Bath the work of such an extraordinary range of artists working with tapestry today. They remind us that tapestry is anything but traditional: it is creative and colourful, and can tell extraordinary stories about how we see the world around us. Lesley Millar’s selection of works reveals the personal, the political and the truly unexpected.’

The full list of exhibited artists is: Valerie Kirk, Barbara Heller, Aino Kajaniemi, Akayo Matsumura, Misao Watanabe, Yasuko Fujino, Ai Ito, Saori Sakai, Rolands Krutovs, Kristin Sæterdal, Tonje Høydahl Sørli, Caron Penney, Fiona Rutherford, Sara Brennan, Jilly Edwards, Fiona Hutchinson, Joan Baxter, Pat Taylor, Philip Sanderson and Erin M Riley.

Tapestry: Here & Now has been curated by Professor Lesley Millar in partnership with the National Centre for Craft and Design (NCCD). The exhibition title is a call for further research, practice and the promotion of cross cultural, networking and greater experiential opportunities for contemporary tapestry at a time of global uncertainty, when the focus on the here and now and its legacy is more pertinent than ever.

Listings information

Tapestry: Here & Now
The Holburne Museum
23 June – 1 October 2017
£10 | £9 concession | £5 Art Fund | Free to all Museum Members and under 16s
A touring exhibition from The National Centre for Craft & Design

The Holburne Museum, Great Pulteney Street, Bath BA2 4DB
Open daily, free admission 10am – 5pm (11am – 5pm Sundays and Bank Holidays)
T: 01225 388569 | E: enquiries@holburne.org | www.holburne.org

Exhibition events

Friday 30 June
In Conversation | Lady Deirdre Dyson and Adrian Tinniswood
Join artist and carpet designer Lady Deirdre Dyson In Conversation with Adrian Tinniswood to discover the inspirations behind her magnificent carpets, and the processes involved in translating her painted designs into woven form. The evening will reveal how an engagement with the natural world, materials and techniques, in addition to long-standing relationships with Nepalese communities, combine to produce carpets of exceptional quality and content.

Lady Dyson trained at the Byam Shaw School of Fine Art for 2 years in fine art and Wimbledon College of Art for the 3 year diploma in graphics and illustration, and is a practising fine artist and carpet designer. Adrian Tinniswood is an author, historian, lecturer and broadcaster and a Trustee of the Holburne Museum.

Saturday 15 July, 10.15am – 4.15pm
Adult Workshop | Introduction to Tapestry Weaving with Caron Penney
£50* (with £4 materials charge payable directly to tutor on the day)
In this exciting and lively one day tapestry weaving workshop with master weaver Caron Penney, students will investigate basic weaving techniques suitable for beginners including hatching and colour blending, the foundations to tapestry. By the end of the workshop students will have completed one sample. The group will work on pre-warped frames provided by the tutor, a stock of wools will be available and all equipment will be available to borrow. Students should bring a notebook and pen.

Caron Penney is an artist-weaver who has been making tapestry for over twenty years both as a master weaver for artists like Tracey Emin, Gillian Ayres and Martin Creed, but also independently creating work for exhibition. She is a member of the Contemporary Applied Arts and the 62 Group of Textiles Artists.

Friday 29 September, 10am – registration and refreshments, running 10.30am – 5pm
Symposium | Tapestries – the narrative of our times?
£25/£10 students*
To celebrate Tapestry: Here & Now, the Holburne is delighted to bring together a distinguished panel of international speakers, many of them exhibiting artists. The symposium will explore the relevance of tapestry as a means of conveying the narrative of our times. Providing perspectives from around the globe, speakers will explore how this art form can spark conversations and inspire reflection about our experiences and the world around us.
Speakers will include Yasuko Fujino (Kyoto City University of Arts, Japan); Valerie Kirk (Australian National University, Australia); and Pat Taylor (previously Director at West Dean Tapestry Studio, UK). The event will be chaired by Professor Lesley Millar, the curator of Tapestry: Here & Now.

* Tickets include entry to the Tapestry: Here and Now exhibition. Lunch not included
Full programme details: www.holburne.org

Notes to Editors

Funding partners: Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation; the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation; the Japan Foundation and the University for the Creative Arts.

This exhibition has been made possible through direct support from Arts Council England.

About the artists

Joan Baxter (UK, b.1972)
Sara Brennan (UK, b.1963)
Jilly Edwards (UK)
Yasuko Fujino (Japan)
Barbara Heller (Canada)
Fiona Hutchison (UK, b.1958)
Aino Kajaniemi (Finland, b.1953)
Valerie Kirk (Australia, b.1957)
Ieva Krumina (Latvia, b.1964)
Rolands Krutovs (Latvia, b.1979)
Ai Ito (Japan, b.1980)
Ayako Matsumura (Japan, b.1987)
Caron Penney (UK)
Erin M. Riley (USA, b.1985)
Fiona Rutherford (UK)
Kristin Sæterdal (Norway, b.1963)
Philip Sanderson (UK)
Saori Sakai (Japan, b.1982)
Tonje Høydahl Sørli (Norway, b. 1978)
Pat Taylor (UK)
Misao Watanabe (Japan, b.1978)

About Lesley Millar

Lesley Millar is Professor of Textile Culture and Director of the International Textile Research Centre at the University for the Creative Arts, UK, unrivalled in her reputation for contemporary textile research. Over two decades, Millar has researched three specific areas: the transition from traditional practice and its influence on contemporary practice; textile installations within the built environment (the texturing of space); the use of textiles as an expression of cultures.

About the National Centre for Craft and Design

The National Centre for Craft and Design is a world-class centre and resource dedicated to the celebration, support and promotion of national and international contemporary craft and design. The Centre, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2013, aims to stimulate greater understanding of contemporary craft and design and provide enriching arts and cultural experiences for everyone through a dynamic programme of high quality exhibitions, participatory learning, events and retail. Bryony Windsor, Head of Exhibitions co-curated the exhibition with Millar and manages the tour of the Here & Now for the NCCD.

About the Holburne Museum

The Holburne Museum’s mission statement is ‘Changing Lives Through Art’. This reflects our commitment to opening up the enjoyment of art to people of all ages and from every walk of life.

The Holburne Museum houses an important art collection formed by Sir William Holburne in the early nineteenth century, which includes paintings, silver, sculpture, furniture and porcelain of national and international significance. Artists in the collection include Gainsborough, Guardi, Stubbs, Ramsay and Zoffany and, following a successful fundraising campaign in 2016, the collection also includes an early oil sketch by Sir Thomas Lawrence.

The Museum reopened in May 2011 after ambitious renovations and a new extension by Eric Parry Architects. The Holburne has fast gained a reputation as an outstanding regional museum which holds critically acclaimed exhibitions.
• Winner of the Museums & Heritage Award for the re-display of the permanent collection.
• Winner of the RIBA Building of the Year, south west.
• Winner of the Civic Trust’s Michael Middleton Special Award for a restoration/extension project within a conservation area.