Exhibition: Ruth Holt

Ruth Holt is based in  a studio in Halesworth, Suffolk.  Since 2012 she has exhibited regularly with Suffolk Craft Society and other galleries including the Scottish Gallery and Shipyard Gallery in Wivenhoe.

Ruth designed and then commissioned Whitchurch Silk Mill, a traditional Victorian Mill,  to weave cloth for a limited edition of scarves for the Society of Apothecaries (a City Livery Company).

Norwich Cathedral Commission:
In 2019 Ruth received a commission from Norwich Cathedral, where she works as a volunteer broderer.  Norwich cathedral is one of the great medieval cathedrals of Britain.  Built in the 11th Century, the ancient and historic building holds a clear sense of narratives past and present. This is emphasised on great occasions, including the recent enthronement of a new Bishop, when the vestments and banners gave movement, colour and warmth to the event.

The brief was to design and make silk fabric to be used as part of a new set of vestments. The concept was for white vestments with deep red and gold embellishment in the form of orphreys and stripes.   The challenge was to design and make fabric that would fit within a deeply traditional context but offer a modern dimension.

Weaving in Norwich has a strong textile history, a major centre for the industry until the nineteenth century and famed for the production of shawls, often dyed a deep red (Norwich Red).

Preliminary designs and a series of samples were submitted to the Cathedral Chapter for approval. Designs were finalised in partnership with Helen Jenkins, leader and supervisor of the Cathedral Broderers, before she wove the cloth in deep red silk and metal thread to their exact specifications.

The vestments are currently being made up and will be completed over the next few months.

Solo Exhibition:

The solo exhibition is in the Loft Gallery in St Margaret Hope, Orkney.
Dates: 14th March  – 14th April 2020

Ruth Holt first visited Orkney in 2009 on a student placement at the Pier Arts Centre. To which she has returned to frequently The people she met, the landscapes and seascapes, the deep sense of ancient history, Orcadian writers, musicians, artists and artisans, past and contemporary, all have been a rich source of inspiration to her since that first visit.

Text and images: Ruth Holt

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