The Wool Clip contributes unique pieces to Herdwick exhibition
All 15 members of the Wool Clip, a Cumbrian co-operative, have been working on unique pieces that will form part of Herdwick: A Portrait of Lakeland, an exhibition by Ian Lawson at Rheged which opens next week.
Members of the Caldbeck-based group are working with mainly Herdwick wool, fleece and yarn and many of their pieces are also inspired by Ian Lawson’s photographs or the themes of his work.
Pam Hall, a member of The Wool Clip who farms Herdwick sheep near Keswick, has been the main point of contact with Ian: “This exhibition has been long in the making,” she says, “and it is going to be a beautiful celebration of Lakeland and of the Herdwick breed. Mind you, we’ve also been very conscious that these gorgeous photographs are a reminder of what is at risk if this landscape and the lifestyle of hill farmers aren’t recognised and valued.”
Exhibition pieces created by Wool Clip members include elaborate wall hangings and embellished garments as well as a felted Herdwick sheep’s head, a woollen sheepfold and an armchair that evokes hefting and travels across Eden and Cumbria.
“We’ve participated in events at the Gallery@Rheged in the past,” says Pam. “One of our members, Marion Woolcott created the Herdwick-covered bench that has been a permanent feature of the Gallery since the WOW exhibition a few years ago. Last time we had work on display, I think we surprised visitors with the variety, complexity and quality of our work and we’re looking forward to showcasing The Wool Clip’s artistic talents and creativity again this time.”
Herdwick: A Portrait of Lakeland opens following a private view on Thursday 12 February and is at the Gallery@Rheged until 19 April. The exhibition of large format photographic prints is accompanied by 15 specially-commissioned exhibition pieces from The Wool Clip and smaller woollen items made by Wool Clip members will also be for sale in the Gallery shop.
The Wool Clip shop re-opens after its winter refresh on Saturday 14 February and is then open every day from 11am to 4pm at Priest’s Mill in Caldbeck. Further information, directions and details can be found at www.woolclip.com.
PLEASE NOTE: Print quality images of the final pieces and of the Wool Clip with their work will be available after 12 February opening event.
Editor’s notes: The Wool Clip is a Cumbria-based cooperative of 15 smallholders, spinners, dyers, knitters, feltmakers, weavers and other wool workers. It was set up in 2001 to promote the value of local wool and to market members’ skills and products. The Wool Clip established Woolfest in June 2005 and recent events have attracted over 5,000 visitors from the UK and beyond. Woolfest 2015 is on Friday 26 and Saturday 27 June at Mitchell’s Lakeland Livestock Centre at Cockermouth.