Textile stories to spin a yarn in Spittal

Dorothy Blakely visits the Berwick Pringle factory in 1948.

Dorothy Blakely visits the Berwick Pringle factory in 1948.

Have your say

Textile stories will be told in Spittal this summer when arts network organisation Highlights brings its contemporary craft exhibition to town.

Following the success of Highlights’ ‘Miniature Worlds’ exhibition last year, Spittal Improvement Trust has secured the 2014 craft tour, which will feature in BURC (formerly St Paul’s) from June 13-15.

‘Textile Stories’ showcases three contemporary designer-makers, whose work celebrates and brings to life real and imagined stories of our shared history, told through the medium of textiles.

Paddy Hartley tells stories of courage in the face of adversity; Stella Adams Schofield’s stories are of the dignity of daily toil and perseverance; and Debra Roberts tells a fascinating story of the values of thrift and patience through the reconstruction of a late eighteenth century sack back gown.

The exhibition is designed to transform the village venue into a contemporary art gallery with free standing boards and plinths on which the artists’ and community work is exhibited.

Spittal Improvement Trust secretary Mike Greener said: “The project will enable people in our community the opportunity to have access to world class quality crafts, enabling people of all ages to enjoy the high quality that will be on show on their doorstep.”

An artist will be in residence for three days of the show, talking to visitors as well as demonstrating their craft. This should contribute to the high quality of visitors experience, enabling people to act on their own aspirations.

To run alongside the exhibition, local schools are being invited to take part in two days of workshops with one of the exhibiting artists, plus a tour of the exhibition.

Spittal Improvement Trust believes the project will help to engage children and students of all ages through the workshops with the artists, which will be tailored to the needs of each group.

Berwick Town Council has backed the initiative, which will encourage people to learn about the town’s textile heritage. With Pringle knitwear formerly one of the town’s main employers, the textile industry is historically entwined in Berwick.

The town council’s environment and regeneration committee has granted £700 towards the cost of the event, on the condition that schools in Spittal, Berwick and Tweedmouth are invited to take advantage of the workshops on offer.

Back to the top of the page