Themes of healing and restoration explored in new Rugby Gallery exhibition - The Rugby Observer

Themes of healing and restoration explored in new Rugby Gallery exhibition

Andy Morris 14th Sep, 2017   0

THE CONCEPTS of damage and repair have inspired Rugby Art Gallery and Museum’s next exhibition.

What Do I Need to Do to Make It OK? opens on Saturday (September 16) and explores themes of healing and restoration in terms of landscapes, bodies, minds and objects.

Curated by Liz Cooper, the exhibition features specially-commissioned works from five artists, including acclaimed Canadian textile artist Dorothy Caldwell.

Dorothy’s work focuses on her fascination with landscapes, creating hand-stitched, semi-abstract works of layered cloth and felt which explore how humans have visualised and impacted on the natural world.




The exhibition also includes pieces by Freddie Robins – who combines precision machine-knitting with hand-crafted and found objects to examine themes of crime, illness and fear – and Celia Pym, a nurse whose passion for process led her to ‘knit’ her way across Japan, giving new life to discarded garments.

Basketcase by Freddie Robins. Photo by Douglas Atfield. (s)

Karina Thompson, a member of the Quilt Art group, also explores the world of medicine in her layered, machine-stitched wallpieces.


Thompson’s pieces interpret complex medical data, such as cardiology scans, through high-tech embroidery.

The fifth featured artist, Saidhbhín Gibson, focuses on humanity’s interaction with – and impact on – landscape.

Gibson’s works feature subtle, stitch-led interactions with natural objects, such as her series of ‘repaired’ leaves.

Supported by Arts Council England, What Do I Need to Do to Make It OK? was developed in partnership with the International Textile Research Centre at the University for the Creative Arts.

Curator Liz Cooper, who specialises in contemporary crafts, said: “The title of the exhibition was taken from Dorothy Caldwell’s worried reaction to a commission brief.

“The works in the exhibition use stitch and other media to explore damage and repair, disease and medicine.

“Through the generous support of Arts Council England, the five artists have been supported to create new works over the period of the exhibition tour in response to its themes, so the exhibition has taken on a new life at each venue it has visited.”

The exhibition opened at Battersea Park’s Pumphouse Gallery in 2015 and has visited seven venues before finishing its tour at Rugby Art Gallery and Museum.

The exhibition runs until Saturday November 4, bringing to a close Rugby Art Gallery and Museum’s programme of events and exhibitions exploring health and wellbeing, and the positive role culture can play in improving quality of life.

Rugby Borough Council’s growth and investment spokeswoman Coun Heather Timms said: “Rugby Art Gallery and Museum’s programme of exhibitions has featured many leading artists in the field of contemporary crafts.

“What Do I Need to Do to Make It OK? has proved popular at venues across the country and it’s a real coup Rugby has been chosen for the final stop on the tour.”

Visit www.ragm.co.uk for more information.

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