What to see this week: following the thread
Chris Ofili: Weaving Magic
is at the National Gallery, Sunley Room, Trafalgar Square, London WC2, until August 28 (020–7747 2885; www.nationalgallery. org.uk). This exhibition is dedicated to the Turner Prize-winning artist’s first tapestry design, which was commissioned by the Clothworkers’ Company for its hall in the City of London and completed this year. Hand-woven by master weavers at the Dovecot Tapestry Studio in Edinburgh, The Caged Bird’s Song (detail, above) can be seen alongside Chris Ofili’s preparatory design and sketches for the project; the triptych reflects his interest in Classical mythology, as well as the stories, magic and colour of his native Trinidad.
Tapestry: Here & Now
is at the Holburne Museum, Great Pulteney Street, Bath, until October 1 (01225 388569; www. holburne.org). Aiming to demonstrate that the medium is well and truly alive today, this exhibition features contemporary tapestries by an international mix of artists exploring aesthetic, political and personal themes. Curator of Decorative Arts Catrin Jones says: ‘They remind us that tapestry is anything but traditional: it’s creative and colourful and can tell extraordinary stories about how we see the world around us.’ Shown alongside these contemporary works is Edward Mcknight Kauffer’s Arts tapestry (1934–5) from the museum’s own collection, on public display for the first time.
Daughters of Penelope
will be at Dovecot Gallery, 10, Infirmary Street, Edinburgh, from July 20 until January 20, 2018 (0131–550 3660; www.dovecotstudios.com). This exhibition looks at the work of key women weavers and artists who have contributed to the internationally renowned Dovecot Tapestry Studio. Artists include Elizabeth Blackadder, Julie Brook, Caroline Dear, Erin M. Riley and Naomi Robertson.
Also at Dovecot, until March 17, 2018, is ‘Built in Tapestry: Dovecot Tapestries and Architecture’, focusing on tapestries woven in collaboration with leading artists for bold architectural projects such as global company headquarters, university buildings and private homes. The exhibition includes photography and film from recent major collaborations with Alison Watt (the Theatre Royal in Glasgow) and Victoria Crowe (The Leathersellers’ Company in London).