The Ailist – Issue Fifteen

Ailish Henderson shares her view on the world of embroidery - it's the Ailist!

Lets talk exhibitions…..

So we are all aware of the big ones, so lets look at the up and coming….this time at Rheged in Penrith, Cumbria.

Just a few weeks ago, they hosted their own Knitting and Stitching show.  Sadly I wasn’t present at the event, however our very own Mr X Stitch was there and even had parts in the show.

Rheged also has a new Textile Exhibition called Thread:  Contemporary Textiles. 

The press release for the show tells us: ‘ ‘THREAD: Contemporary Textiles’ features more than 20 artists, working in embroidery, cross stitch, tapestry, quilting and other textile and needle arts. It includes street art scenes rendered in Cross Stitch by US artist Jacquelyn Royal, beautiful ‘Thread Paintings’ by Russian artist Vera Shimunia, science fiction Tapestry by Norwegian artist Kristin Sæterdal and intricate miniature folk art dolls by British artist Megan Griffiths.”

I took a trip down to review the gallery:

The exhibition covers a wide variety of Textile related techniques, making it fresh and appealing to a wide audience.  Textiles as a medium can get negative rap; you all know it, the visions of the staid traditional lady, sitting in her chair with nothing to do except stitch neat little lines (which by the way, can be beautiful in their own right….okay, I am getting away from the point….).  This gallery of works, conveys how through this medium, a vibe of positive change can be found, both for the maker and observer.  The work also deals with Folk Lore and to top it all off, there is even a Bourgeois thrown in the mix.

Read all about it, this poster was situated at the start of the exhibition.
I loved this modern life portrait by Rhiannon Williams.  Although I’d be slightly scared if that was my cat 😉

We have featured the work of Adam Pritchett recently, so it was a treat to view his work up close.  I love his use of wool with embroidery; his love of nature is obvious:

Sometimes we all need to hide in the trees.

I first noticed the work of Kirsty Whitlock when she won an award by the Embroiderers’ Guild years ago.  I like how she silently conveys a message through media and world events, via the use of materials such as newspaper:

Distressed to send a message…

Lastly I’ve got to shout out to Jacquelyn Royal and her graffiti Cross Stitch:

Los Angeles 2 – Cross Stitch

Check out her website for more of her work.

Okay, so if you are actually going to see the show, then I don’t want to spoil it.  If you can, check out the Rheged website  and get yourself along, its definitely worth it and as an artist myself, it was so nice to see what was going on around me, without having to travel too far (I live in the North).

Keep a look out for what is on around you locally.  I know myself that from time to time I will have a moan that there is not more on up the country, however just look at this event.  I really think Rheged is a place which needs nurchuring and some applause, cos the more we notice it, the more they will be inclined to have shows like this one.

Until next time…


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