Woven from Nature: Four Contemporary Makers

2 March - 29 April 2012

The exhibits in Woven from Nature are – literally – just that. This exhibition brings together four contemporary artist-craftswomen whose work is either entirely or partially woven and which has the ‘common thread’ of being made from natural materials: wool, cotton, willow, paper and vellum. This is a show that brings together traditional and contemporary practice in the most exciting ways.

Two established leaders in their respective fields, basket-weaver Mary Butcher and tapestry weaver Jilly Edwards, have each nominated a fellow maker working within the same discipline, whose work may not yet be as well-known as their own. It makes for a show in which experience has informed the curatorial approach, and which offers an fascinating breadth of work.

Jilly Edwards trained at West of England College of Art in Bristol, and the Edinburgh College of Art Tapestry Department; she has since taught, published and exhibited widely. Jilly is now based in Devon, where the landscape plays a key role in her work.

Jilly’s ‘nominee’ is Jo McDonald, who also trained in tapestry at Edinburgh College of Art and exhibits regularly. Her work is concerned with the story-telling aspects of history and the way in which it changes with each re-telling.

Mary Butcher trained under traditional basketmakers and within a formal framework at the London College of Furniture. She has travelled widely, acquiring knowledge about techniques and materials from Europe and beyond. She teaches at West Dean College and exhibits internationally, and in 2009 was the Crafts Council Designer in Residence at the V&A.

Maggie Smith, nominated by Mary Butcher, trained at City Lit., London. Her work is inspired by her passion for the heritage of traditional craftsmanship and love of natural materials. The starting-point for many of her pieces is a found object, around which she builds a form, often using natural materials from the same location.

Supported by - Arts Council England

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