Exhibition at Croome: Landscapes – “Changing Perspectives”
The view from Croome house is an idyllic image of English country parkland. However, we know this is the result of Capability Brown’s first landscaping commission, commencing in 1751. Small, farmed fields and a village were swept away to create the country park we now know – change indeed.
The idea of ‘change’ to the grounds was the starting point for the members of Worcester Embroiderers’ Guild’s installation. We looked at the social and political events that have left their mark on Croome Park. Resulting ideas ranged from the disappearing village, the creation of the lake and gardens, life during WW2, St. Joseph’s School for Boys, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness and, most recently, the arrival of the National Trust and its plans for taking the estate forward.
Working in their own style and mostly in collaborative groups, the members have tried to depict aspects of these important moments through textile art work. For some, their medium has been felt, others have applied fabrics which, in some cases, have been naturally dyed, creating pattern and foliage found in the landscape. In all cases, the inspiration was to depict a Changing Perspective on a room setting – creating all the fixtures and fittings from textiles.
Vintage fabrics have been integrated and recycled and, through using materials that are not usually associated with embroidery, the visitors should see a tactile response in 3D with this installation. The designs have a common link of hand and machine stitch, enhancing the work with threads used in a variety of ways to make statements ranging from the bold to the finely-detailed.
A different view on the theme of ‘change’ has arisen with the Branch being fortunate to work with Antony Bridge who is Croome’s Artist in Residence. He has allowed us to use one of his pictures as inspiration and, indeed, our collective result has given the art work a different perspective just by a change of media.
As a Guild branch we aim to reach out to the community so neighbouring groups have also contributed to this installation, truly representing our county of Worcestershire.
Regular visitors to the park will notice how the landscape changes through the seasons, changes with the time of day, and changes with the weather.
What a wonderful landscape we have at Croome Park to enjoy!
The Walled Gardens
A second major exhibition of WEG members’ work on the theme of “Worcestershire’s Wildflower Meadows” was held in a dedicated indoor gallery at The Walled Gardens, Croome Court, near High Green, Worcester throughout August and much of September. The work showed the diverse abilities of the members, making this exhibition a stunning display of skill.
Their work embraced many different techniques and use of mixed media, for example, felting, fabric dyeing, embellishing and printing, coupled with machine embroidery and hand stitching. They chose an assortment of subjects which made this an interesting medley of bees and insects, wildflowers, grasses and everything associated with English meadows.
Royal Three Counties Show
In June, WEG members held an exhibition in the Bee and Honey tent at Malvern’s Royal Three Counties Show. Entitled “Bee Inspired”, the exhibition had a theme relating to Worcestershire wildflower meadows and insects. Members created beautiful, individual pieces of work, many of which were for sale, together with cards and small items such as brooches, books and bags.
100 Hearts War Stories
The national Embroiderers’ Guild (in association with SSAFA – The Armed Forces Charity (Wiltshire)) asked members if they would like to take part in a project to mark the end of the First World War in 1918, by creating a special heart. It could be designed to commemorate the life of a family member, a significant moment in time, objects of war, an act of bravery etc. The EG asked that it be made as an object of beauty, honour, courage, remembrance, truth or passion. Many ideas for inspiration were suggested e.g. uniforms, war diaries, the work of war poets and artists, photographs, songs, embroidered postcards, animals used in the war.
Kits of the appropriate size and colour were sent out to participants together with other important information such as a template, stitch and stuffing notes, design ideas and hanging options.
A special invitation was sent to one of our members, asking her if she would create a campaign medal for the exhibition. It could be a copy of an actual First World War medal or be made up but the colours had to be chosen from specially created swatches sent by HQ. Any technique could be chosen as could hand or machine stitching.
Exhibitions at major venues throughout the UK are planned, with one hundred hearts being displayed in each. The EG also intend to create a Pinterest on-line exhibition and show some of the hearts on their website.
Thanks go to the small number of Worcester EG members who are taking part in this project.