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British and international artists to feature in Textile Art exhibition that reveals a diverse world of THREAD

Megan Griffiths

A new exhibition of contemporary Textile art will open at Rheged on 3 May 2019.

THREAD: Contemporary Textiles brings together artists working in textiles from across England, Europe, America and Russia. The free exhibition is part of a programme of textile and stitch events at Rheged in May and June.

The exhibition 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.

The exhibition also includes an interactive installation by Craftivist Collective, which invites visitors to create their own stitched artwork to add to hundreds others suspended from the ceiling. The artwork invites visitors to give their idea of a utopia, in the form of their words stitched into a sustainable felt cloud.

Sarah Corbett, founder and director of Craftivist Collective said ‘Textiles can be a powerful tool to create loving, creative and strategic activism. There is power in the slow and quiet handicraft process to help the maker engage their head, heart and hands together. I see textiles as a great catalyst for compassionate and critical thinking as well as for conversation and collaboration to help fix our fragile world. I’ve helped change laws, company policies, hearts & minds using craft with courage and care in my activism. You can too.’

John Stokes, Arts Manager at Rheged and the exhibition’s curator said ‘Textile art is a wonderfully accessible and relatable medium. What’s so interesting is to see the variety of ideas and messages artists can communicate through it. We wanted to create an exhibition that is at the same time really inviting to a wide audience and also that challenges people’s perception of the Textile Art – showing that it is a much bigger and more interesting world than the parochial stereotypes that often surround it.’

The exhibition’s opening weekend (4&5 March) sees the return of the ever popular Knit and Stich show at Rheged in association with CoolCrafting and Marion Woolcott and featuring over 40 selected exhibitors with fantastic textile materials and merchandise for sale, plus a wide variety of workshops. Then on the weekend of 8/9 June Rheged will host a new Textile Art fair organized by Cumbrian artist Kay Leech.

TEXTRAVAGANZA will feature textile artists from across the North of England, with the chance to meet artists and buy work from them.

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