An exhibition of contemporary tapestries by 16 international artists, weaving together the stories of our time.
Tapestry has always been used to tell stories, from the bold imagery of 4th-century Coptic works to highly complex designs of the 16th century through to the present. Using traditional hand-woven techniques that connect us to the past, artists from the UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand, Norway and Japan have drawn on contemporary images and events, as well as personal dreams and feelings, to bring the art form into the 21st century.
The exhibition offers an exploration of the human condition through two lenses, the utopian and the dystopian, subjects William Morris reflected on in his own work. The utopian section offers reflections on rural mythologies and lost landscapes, including work by British artist Jennie Moncur and Japanese artist Miyuki Tatsumi, both of whose work celebrates the natural world.
The dystopian section counters this, displaying work preoccupied with issues of today, including natural disasters and war. Barbara Heller, one of Canada’s foremost tapestry makers, asks in Regeneration if something positive can come out of catastrophe. Norwegian artist Mari Meen Halsøy's Snipers Room is exhibited in the UK for the first time. Working onsite in Beirut, Halsøy wove patches for the 'wounds' of bombed buildings as an act of metaphorical and actual healing.