17 January 2015

"Large tree group" at the Fleming Collection

On the way to the gallery, balls of wool adorned the stairs -
The installation is by Angela Wright, whose remit was to encourage people to go upstairs to the gallery. "I chose naturally coloured wool ranging from grey, through cream to chocolate brown. The installation is composed of numerous balls of wool made with the help of volunteers. The small, variously coloured balls form a flat wall 'picture' that focuses both one's destination and responds to the circular cut-outs of the balustrade, plugged with large balls of cream wool which rhythmically pace one's ascent."

 The heart of the exhibit was Victoria Crowe's "Large Tree Group", a tapestry based on a 1975 painting of shepherd                -
 The tapestry is Dovecote Studio's first weaving entirely in undyed wools. At the back are tags that give the type of sheep the wool came from -
as displayed in Edinburgh, 2013 (via)
In the exhibition at the Fleming Collection (till 14 February) the tapestry was augmented with photos of the weaving process, and samples of fleece and yarns from some of the types of sheep whose wool was used.

The cartoon was augmented with sample weavings -
 "Cartoons like this are used to distill the main features of a design, at a scale to match the finished tapestry. These guidelines are transferred to the warp threads of the tapestry and provide an important guide during the weaving process.
"The translation of the design into a cartoon is one of the first steps in the process [of weaving]. During weaving, it is used alongside an image of the original artwork to assist accurate rendering of colour and shape."

In another case, ephemera including tags from the wool of different breeds of sheep -
Also included was historic fleece, collected from Soay sheep on St Kilda in 1964 -
and photos of some of the breeds, by Paul Farnham, from his and Kathryn Dun's book "Beautiful Sheep" -
I was entranced by the Blueface Leicester ewe at lower right - she had a glint in her eye and a button in her left ear, but wasn't happily placed on my page -


Olga Norris said...

I rather like the look of the Blue Leicester half hiding in your gutter!

Stitchinscience said...

Hi Margaret, I saw this exhibition at the Dovecote and absolutely loved it. I'm so glad it has come to London - I'll need to try to see it again.

Anonymous said...

I'm very tempted to make the long trip to London to see this exhibition. I do enjoy your blog - your drawings, stitches, ideas, photos - always a delight. Thank you!