Friday 17 January 2014

Frayed : Textiles On The Edge * Time & Tide Museum, Great Yarmouth UK * Until 2 March 2014

At the heart of this exhibition are some very poignant pieces. The first is the well known sampler by Elizabeth Parker from the V&A Museum, London, upon which she stitched an extraordinary confession. The V&A tell us: She describes what she sees as her own weaknesses and sins, and the trials she had to face from employers who treated her 'with cruelty too horrible to mention', in this deeply personal confession of her temptation to suicide. As the text continues her desperation increases, '..which way can I turn oh whither must I flee to find the Lord wretch wretch that I am …what will become of me ah me what will become of me'.

Another piece was stitched by Lorina Bulwer during the time she was interned in the lunatic wing of the Great Yarmouth Workhouse between 1901-1905. Her stitched Howl or Scream is an invective that is over 3 metres long and may not be complete. Her testimony is composed of patched pieces of cloth, acquired opportunistically upon which she stitched her personal miseries.

Another item is the extraordinary counterpane and bed hangings worked by Anna Margaretta Brereton while in deep mourning for the loss of her two children in 1801. Ruth Battersby Tooke, Curator of Costume and Textiles at Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Services says: The interpretation of the issues of mental health, grief and post-traumatic stress disorder will also be articulated using the works of contemporary artists such as Tracey Emin. This will enable these issues to be explored in a historical context, while demonstrating that textile arts are still a means of personal testimony and therapy for people affected by mental illness and grief. For more details about opening times of the exhibition, click here.

1 comment:

  1. That is literally 10 miles up the road from where I live! I must pay a visit there.
    Thank you.