A group of talented students have just completed work on a fascinating piece of textile art ready to be displayed at the Brontë Parsonage Museum and in time for World Embroidery Day on July 30.
Textile artist and author Hannah Lamb – who is also head of the Textiles Practice Foundation Degree program at the Bradford School of Art – asked her students to help them with the intricate needlework needed for the unusual art commission.
“I was approached by the Bronte Parsonage Museum in my role as an artist to create an interactive artwork to accompany the current exhibition, ‘Defying Expectations: Inside Charlotte Brontë’s Wardrobe’. work of art will accompany this exhibition in the servants’ room of the presbytery.
“Due to the scale of the project I designed, I realized I couldn’t handle the volume of embroidery needed, so I decided to see if any of my students would be willing to help me. to help. I’m both a part-time lecturer at Bradford College and a professional artist, so this project marries my two roles beautifully! »
The project entitled “Fragment de robe” involved Museum visitors writing a few words on a piece of clothing that is close to their hearts. Responses ranged from comments about comforting and uplifting everyday items to poignant personal stories of loss, healing and connection.
For two weeks, the students carefully translated the handwritten stories into embroidery, building the words stitch by stitch. Each piece was worked on transparent silk organza and assembled like a dress that Charlotte Brontë might have recognized.
The Basic Diploma in Textile Practice at Bradford College develops technical skills in mixed media, sewing and constructed textiles, while focusing on brainstorming and developing original designs. The unique part-time course is designed for those following non-traditional learning paths and learners who need to organize their studies flexibly around other commitments.
“I was amazed to find that many of my students were very enthusiastic about getting involved. I think it gave them a real insight into how professional artists work, and they were all thrilled to be involved in making the finished piece. It has been such a beautiful and positive collaboration.
Sassy Holmes, Program Manager at the Brontë Parsonage Museum, said:
“Hannah has created a nostalgic and moving piece of art that speaks to how important clothes are to us. ‘Fragment of a Dress’ has so many layers (much like when we dress ourselves!). Her installation is a combination of the memories of many people through their wardrobe. It is also the meeting of talented embroiderers from the Bradford School of Art. The sharing and collaboration in the realization of the installation is just as beautiful as the Hannah’s finished work, and we can’t wait for visitors to come see.
‘Fragment of a Dress’ will be presented at Bronte Parsonage Museum until December 31, 2022 alongside the current exhibition, “Defying Expectations: Inside Charlotte Brontë’s Wardrobe”. The show features over twenty of Charlotte Brontë’s garments and accessories and offers an intimate insight into her domestic and literary life.
The Parsonage is home to a vibrant contemporary art program featuring leading artists and writers, supported by Arts Council England.
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