Thelma Hulbert Gallery (THG) to host culmination of touring exhibition exploring thread.

Daisy Hall
Authored by Daisy Hall
Posted: Thursday, June 27, 2024 - 15:46

This July, THG will present A Visible THREAD, a touring exhibition exploring ways to make thread visible.

A Visible THREAD aims to encourage viewers to rethink their relationship to thread, be aware of its materiality, its sustainability, its possibilities, and limitations, and also take part. seam collective invites visitors to continue the conversation about the visibility of thread by interacting with some of the works in the exhibition, and making their mark by stitching into fabric pages in the gallery to be collated into fabric book(s).

Thread, as cloth, is woven through our lives. It surrounds us like a second skin. Yet, precisely because of these close connections, it becomes almost invisible to us.

Through their unique perspectives and a diverse range of textile disciplines, 15 artists from seam collective have created a selection of experimental new works to stimulate thought and conversation.

The exhibition at THG will be the final iteration of seam’s well-received, six-venue Arts Council England funded tour around South West England and South Wales, which began in December 2022. Unusually for an exhibition tour, in each venue the exhibition has been different, with different works, methods of installation and even different artists exhibiting. Audiences will be able to see how the exhibition and individual work has developed, as some of the artists have taken the opportunity to respond, research and develop more work around the theme of A Visible THREAD during the tour. This final exhibition will be the largest yet!

As a group and as individual artists and makers, seam have been challenging themselves to work towards sustainable regeneration in their practices. Preparing for this exhibition, they’ve been working towards circular design, as defined by Katie Treggiden as ‘waste less, repair more and think like nature’.

Rooted in craft techniques, work made with thread has historically been seen as ‘women’s work’, private, functional, decorative and safe. This means that art made with cloth has, until recently, largely been overlooked or disregarded by the contemporary art scene. Thread is just beginning to be visible as a medium in fine art.

About seam: Ahead of the curve, seam, a contemporary textile collective, has been provoking critical conversations about thread as a medium in contemporary fine art since their inception, 11 years ago. The artists taking part are: Alice-Marie Archer, Angie Parker, Desiree Jeans, Helen MacRitchie, Jane Colquhoun, Joy Merron, Julie Heaton, Leah Hislop, Lou Baker, Lydia Needle, Nina Gronw-Lewis, Oliver Bliss, Penny Wheeler, Youngye Cho, and the late Linda Row.

There will be an opening event on Saturday 20 July with fascinating demos from Helen MacRitchie, Lydia Needle, Nina Gronw-Lewis and Penny Wheeler, alongside a family-friendly activity weaving in unusual ways.

In August, alongside the exhibition will be THG's popular Summer Art Week. The gallery invites 11 - 17 year olds to try a new art activity over 4 days of the summer holidays from 20 to 24 August from animation to printing and jewellery making to photography.

Gemma Girvan, THG Curator commented:

We are really honoured that THG has been chosen as the final venue of the tour and we are excited to showcase the culmination of this ever-changing exhibition.

seam collective have been an absolute joy to work with and we look forward to showcasing this visually impactful, boundary-pushing exhibition.

seam collective: A Visible THREAD (20 July - 31 August 2024)
Open Tuesday to Saturday from 10am – 5pm.
Coordinating activities:
Opening event: Saturday 20 July, 10 - 5 with artist demos and family craft activity
Summer Art Week: Tuesday 20 - Saturday 24 August