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‘Fabric Of Place’ opens at DCM

Bainbridge, 2 October, 2018

Four artists and more than two hundred members of the Swaledale community, including children at Reeth and Gunnerside Primary Schools, have shaped “Fabric of Place”, the Dales Countryside Museum’s autumn exhibition opening this week.

On display are dozens of artworks inspired by local life and created during the past 18 months as part of a ‘Slow Art’ project run by Gargrave-based Chrysalis Arts.

Ultraviolet wool drawings, exhibited in a tent, nod to Swaledale’s dark skies.  A hand-stitched umbrella appears in colour and texture to be like local lichen.  A hand-made rucksack – the essential piece of kit for visitors - has maps sown into the lining.  

“Fabric of Place” will run from Thursday 4 October to Monday 26 November.  The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s Sustainable Development Fund was one of the funders, granting £2,500 to the project.  

Emily Wilson, from Chrysalis Arts, said: “Delivering a project over a longer period allowed connections to be developed with a wide spectrum of the community. The project has engaged some more isolated residents, particularly older people. The artwork you will see in the exhibition gives a very true reflection of ‘place’.”

Each of the four artists – textile artist Joanne B. Kaar; textile artist Serena Partridge; illustrator and printmaker Ed Kluz; and potter Graham Taylor – worked with different groups within the community. Joanne B. Kaar worked with a group of local crafters and makers, as well as with year 5 and 6 pupils.   Serena Partridge worked with Swaledale Youth Club and young carers via Hambleton and Richmondshire Carers’ Centre.   Ed Kluz collected stories and songs from elderly people within the community; people visiting the exhibition can hear some of the recordings.  Graham Taylor ran workshops for families and the Swaledale and Arkengarthdale Archaeology Group to experiment with clay.

Museum Manager Fiona Rosher said:  “The ‘Fabric of Place’ project has helped open the eyes of people to what is all around.  Some of the artworks in the exhibition are remarkable for their colours and attention to detail.   Many, many hours of labour have gone into producing them.  This has been an innovative community-based artist-in-residency project which has, in some surprising ways, teased out fresh stories about the people, culture and heritage of Swaledale.”

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