Exhibition: Blanket Coverage

Celebrating the Heritage and Diversity of Weaving
Textile Designer & Artist Laura Thomas curates a long-awaited exhibition platforming contemporary woven design.

Blanket Coverage opens at Llantarnam Grange Arts Centre, Cwmbran, south Wales, on 28th November  – 30th January 2021, in a much needed review of how contemporary weavers continue to challenge the notions of this exciting and tactile art form.

The exhibition features 12 designers and businesses, from the very established to emerging names. Margo Selby, Wallace Sewell, Beatrice Larkin and Eleanor Pritchard are all handweavers who work closely with British mills to faithfully interpret their hand-rendered or handwoven designs into production. Catarina Riccabona and Maria Sigma are passionate advocates for sustainability through their handwoven practice, both producing blankets of true character without design compromise. Llio James and Sioni Rhys Handweavers, are Welsh handweavers of blankets cleverly combining colour and weave structure to create captivating patterns.

Meghan Speilman a recent graduate of the Royal College of Art, has handwoven a new silk artwork specifically for this exhibition, referencing deconstructed blanket designs. Angie Parker a weaver is primarily known for her colourful Krokbragd rugs and artworks, has recently widened her repertoire to include blankets. Lockdown prompted a fresh appreciation for the brightly painted houses around her home in Bristol which led to a new blanket design which she put into production with the local Bristol Weaving Mill
No exhibition dedicated to blankets in Wales would be complete without Melin Tregwynt. The mill has been in the ownership of the Griffiths family for over a hundred years, and under the direction of the current directors, Eifion and Amanda Griffiths the mill has earned a worldwide reputation for its thoroughly modern twist on iconic Welsh double cloth designs.

Blanket Coverage highlights a diversity of practice, from the handwoven to the mill-woven, from the repeatable to the one-off, all with an impeccable eye for quality and attention to detail. All demonstrate evocative use of colour, weave structure and yarn choice resulting in thoroughly covetable and highly collectable blankets to comfort and furnish our homes.

Curated by Welsh textile designer and artist, Laura Thomas, she commented “Its such a joy in these uncertain times to have brought this exhibition together. Blankets are perhaps the ultimate textile symbol of care, nurture and protection that we can all relate to. Despite the introduction of the duvet in the 1980s, they’ve never disappeared from our consciousness. Instead, they’ve been elevated to provide eye-catching design interest to a room. The blankets selected for this exhibition are the heirlooms of our future: a collectors dream!”
Director of Llantarnam Grange Arts Centre, Louise Jones-Williams added: “We are thrilled to welcome back Laura Thomas, an award-winning Welsh artist, designer, curator and educator to Llantarnam Grange Arts Centre. Laura’s passion for weaving can be seen in her own work and also in her championing of fellow weavers in this exhibition. The skills and traditions wrapped up in blankets make them a prized procession in every home, providers of comfort and warmth, which are passed from generation to generation.”

Llantarnam Grange Art Centre is an Art Gallery, Education Space, Café and Craft Shop in the heart of Cwmbran, south Wales.

• Blanket Coverage is open Tuesday – Saturday, 9.30am – 3.30pm from 28th November 2020 – 30th January 2021

• All times and dates are subject to change while the organisation navigates and implements social distancing safely in the building. Contact Bob Gelsthorpe for up to date information.

Text & Images: Laura Thomas and Artists own Top to bottom Wallace Sewell, Eleanor Pritchard, Beatrice Larkin, Sioni Rhys, Laura Thomas, Lilo James and Angie Parker

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