The Old Ways; Repatterned

Knitting & Stitching Show 2017, Alexandra Palace and Harrogate.

While searching for an idea for our next project HUE decided to read and respond to the text of a book. Robert Macfarlane’s ‘The Old Ways’ was unanimously chosen as the source for new inspiration.

The bestselling book describes Macfarlane’s explorations of pilgrimage paths, prehistoric tracks and sea-roads, speaking of how these ‘Old Ways’ shape people, places and landscapes.

HUE’s Gallery exhibited the resulting body of work that came about after individual research, support for each other from the group, mentoring from Anthea Godfrey and encouragement and. approval from Macfarlane himself.

“The walker’s feet, like the sewer’s needle, stitch a path across the land; the writer’s “text”, like the sewer’s “textile”, share a root in the Latin “texere”, meaning to weave. I was really excited to learn that HUE members wanted to respond to my book The Old Ways in terms of their own craft and art. And I’m thrilled that this response has now come into being as part of the Knitting and Stitching Show – I cannot wait to see the landscapes of my words revised and re-patterned in material form.” Robert Macfarlane

Members responded to words, a place described or an idea aired, that sparked their interest and attention. The exhibition explored land and sea, footpaths, myths, micro terrain, overwhelming landscapes, beaches, megaliths, isolated islands, sea voyages and traces of ancient man. Works have been made in a variety of textile techniques, but all came together to make a cohesive body of work that re-patterned Robert Macfarlane’s words.

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