‘For Worship & Glory’ exhibition at Chester Cathedral
The Royal School of Needlework (RSN) celebrates the beautifully intricate art of hand embroidery, and will go to Chester Cathedral for the first time, to stage an exhibition called ‘For Worship & Glory’.
This extraordinary exhibition will open on Wednesday 3 February until Sunday 28 February 2016 and will take place in the Chapter House. It will feature more than 50 pieces of hand embroidery work, many created as acts of devotion and worship for churches from the 18th – 20th centuries.
The RSN is the international centre of excellence for the art of hand embroidery and is based at Hampton Court Palace, Surrey, and their Patron is Her Majesty The Queen. For those wishing to learn more about this exquisite and historic art, bespoke one day and three day courses for all stitch abilities given by expert RSN tutors, can be booked through Chester Cathedral. Beginners and enthusiasts can also attend two lectures by the RSN Chief Executive Dr Susan Kay-Williams.
Dr Susan Kay-Williams says, “The Royal School of Needlework is delighted to be able to bring its celebrated exhibition of ecclesiastical embroidery to Chester Cathedral. We hope that it will give people from all over the region the opportunity to appreciate, in detail, these wonderful pieces, many by unknown stitchers, all demonstrating high quality workmanship.”
Embroidery has been used as part of worship for centuries on vestments, altar cloths, banners and other church furnishings. The centrepiece of this exhibition will be six of the famous Litany of Loreto pieces. Donated to the RSN by nuns of the Convent of the Holy Child in Mayfield East Sussex (now closed), they are exceptionally fine and worth close inspection.
There are chasubles from the 18th century; an antependium designed by Matthew Webb, who was a pupil of renowned artist Edward Burne-Jones, and a number of pieces made at the RSN including a beautifully worked rendition of The Good Shepherd given back to the School in 2011.
There will also be a number of RSN students’ final pieces from over 50 years ago, which include a range of Christian motifs and symbols.