Weaving is on the Heritage Crafts Association Red List of Endangered Crafts, and silk weavers are few. This is a unique opportunity to see silk ribbons woven in the UK showcased in the country's oldest silk mill.
Robert Ely studied hand weaving at West Surrey College of Art and Design, graduating in 1989, and in 1995 his connection with the Whitchurch Silk Mill began as he completed a short internship here to study weaving shed operations. In 1996 he began to design and weave jacquard silk ribbons for his new studio, called Papilionaceous. The studio relocated to Dartmouth, Devon, in 2001. At first, Robert intended to weave silk for bow ties, which in French are 'papillon' – the butterfly – and so Papilionaceous, a word meaning butterfly-like, was born.
'Works in Silk' is Robert's first solo gallery exhibition outside Devon and brings together weaving from all areas of his work. Visitors will see one-off and limited-edition wall panels through woven silk costume ribbons used for film and television, including the BBC's 'Poldark', all brought to life at the Mill.