On Monday I visited a quilt exhibition curated by Tracy Chevalier at Danson House. Chevalier's last book, The Last Runaway, features quilts and the process of making them at its core and the differences between the English paper pieced quilts and the appliqué quilts of America, as well as the more spontaneous looking African quilts. The processes of making are particular to each character in the book and I love the way the author used the descriptions of the made objects to capture traits rather than describing them in specific human terms.
Alongside quilts the reader learns about the history of the Underground Railroad in America which helped slaves escape. The Quaker religion was also an important aspect to the book and this was also really interesting. It is an amazing book, which partly influenced the making of my recent neckpiece I made for Patti Smith, in the ACJ Icons show.
It was lovely to see an ammonite from Lyme Regis in Danson House and other fossils as it coincidentally linked to Chevaliers last book, Remarkable Creatures, also another favourite of mine.
The exhibition runs from 1 April – 31 October 2014. Here are some images from the exhibition...
A quote from Tracey Chevalier..."Since researching quilts for my last novel, I have fallen hard for the varied and miraculous artistry of quilting. With this show I explore how quilting relates to bedroom activities, in both practical and abstract ways. For traditionalists, there are jaw-dropping examples of antique quilt-making. For contemporary art lovers, there are works that push boundaries and emotions."
A description of the exhibition..."We spend a third of our lives in bed, much of that time under covers such as quilts to keep us warm. Although some have metamorphosed over time from useful household objects to works of art, Things We Do in Bed celebrates quilts and their continuing links to what goes on behind the bedroom door. A lively mix of quilts and quilt works will be displayed through the five bedrooms in Danson House, with each room focusing on a different bed activity: Birth, Sleep, Sex, Illness, Death.
The show will feature traditional and historical quilts dating from the 18th and 19th centuries, alongside contemporary quilted work from artists including Grayson Perry, Sara Impey, Karina Thompson, Michele Walker and prisoners through Fine Cell Work.
Guest curator Tracy Chevalier is an internationally bestselling author of seven novels, whose most recent book, The Last Runaway, features a heroine at the heart of the story who is a quilter. As well as learning a lot about quilts, Tracy learned to quilt by hand."
And here are some images from the Danson House kitchen and exterior. I grew up a few doors away from Danson park so can rememeber the House before it was refurbished. It was amazing to see an exhibition so close to my heart being shown in this building.
As part of the exhibition, Tracy Chevalier made a cushion. You can buy a raffle ticket to win it and the proceeds go towards the upkeep of Danson House.