Tapestry: Weaving the Century at Dovecot Studios 1912 - 2012

Tapestry is an extraordinary and special art which brings together two worlds to make a new one. Dr Elizabeth Cumming

At its best, an artist and weavers create a unique work of art in which skill, texture, colour, form and space together spark magic. The iconic and rarely seen works within this exhibition by Alan Davie, David hockney, Paul gauguin, Elizabeth Blackadder, Peter Blake, Edward Wadsworth, Cecil Beaton, graham Sutherland, Eduardo Paolozzi, and Jankel Adler, amongst others, are testimony to this unique fusion.

A weave is as individual as the weaver who interprets a design. Dr Elizabeth Cumming

Alfred Priest
Alfred Priest

The Admiral Chrichton (1927-30)-Wool Weavers: David Lindsay Anderson, Ronald Cruickshank, Stanley Ebbutt, John Louttit The Bute Collection at Mount Stuart

Over the last century, Edinburgh based Dovecot Studios have produced more than 700 tapestries and rugs, ranging from the more traditional, finely-woven hangings to experimental textile art. This exhibition, curated by Dr Elizabeth Cumming, presents over 60 of these tapestries and rugs on loan from major museums and private collections in America and Britain. Each one, created at Dovecot during the twentieth and early twenty-first century, represents the broad range of visual and technical weaving styles that has established Dovecot’s reputation as a centre for excellence and innovation.

This is the first time that such a vast collection of works produced by Dovecot has been shown together. Whilst revealing the history of Dovecot, it also offers the opportunity to explore the rich artistic potential of modern tapestry. Visitors will see how Arts and Crafts ideals, synonymous with the fine weaving of Scottish historical and pastoral designs of William Skeoch Cumming and Alfred Priest, evolved into an engagement with modern, Neo-Romantic art from the 1950s onwards, when designs came from leading artists including graham Sutherland, Paul gauguin, Jankel Adler, Edward Wadsworth and John Piper. A quest for experimentation dominated the 1960s and 1970s when Dovecot worked with a range of artists including Eduardo Paolozzi, David hockney and Elizabeth Blackadder. Since then there have been Dovecot collaborations with John Bellany, Barbara Rae, kate Whiteford and, more recently, with William Crozier and Liz Rideal.

Peter Blake
Peter Blake
Based on the 'I love' series. On the loom. To be completed July 2012.-Wool cotton warp Weaver: Naomi Robertson

The exhibition also has an interactive element: the Stratford upon Avon guild of Weavers Spinners and Dyers will be setting up a studio within the exhibition space, demonstrating weaving techniques as well as running hands-on workshops for visitors.

The exhibition is accompanied by a major full-colour publication, The Art of Modern Tapestry: Dovecot Studios since 1912, edited by Dr Elizabeth Cumming, published by Lund humphries in association with Dovecot Studios and priced £40.00.

A Dovecot touring exhibition curated by Dr Elizabeth Cumming.

Compton Verney is open, Tuesday – Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays 11am – 5pm
Admission to Compton Verney including this exhibition is £12.00 Adults, £10.00, Concessions, £2.00 Children, £24.00 Family.
Under 5s are free. Admission includes entry to the collections, grounds and the exhibition.

For tickets and information see www.comptonverney.org.uk or call 01926 645500
Daily 45 minute exhibition tours take place at 12 noon and are included in admission. No advance booking sign up on arrival.
The gallery is home to six permanent collections and a changing exhibition programme.

Event date: 
Saturday, October 20, 2012 - 11:00 to Sunday, December 16, 2012 - 17:00