After my successful trip to Sweden last year with Serena Partridge I was asked to assist with the making of a new artwork with Serena for her latest commission awarded by Arts & Heritage. Serena arrived at my studio with a beautiful assortment of antique lace. Several pieces were part of her own collection and numerous other samples were from Gawthorpe’s Textile Collection. They were heavenly!
We had lots of long meetings where I learnt all about Serena’s inspiration for the forthcoming project. Her starting point were the stories surrounding Miss Rachel Kay-Shuttleworth (1886 – 1967) who previously worked as caretaker at Gawthorpe. During her service Miss Rachel began to collect exquisite examples of early nineteenth century whitework and fine lace. It has been said that she compared her textile collection to the wide-ranging beauty of individual snowflakes.
After many hours of experimentation Serena and I decided that the textural qualities of felt were perfect to convey the softness of newly laid snow. The resulting piece was a long parade of circular cyanotype prints arranged on the floor in the Huntroyde bedroom documenting items from Miss Rachel’s wonderful collection.
Photo Credit: Jonathan Turner