Journeys - A new collaborative exhibition

Graham Armstrong

Are We There Yet, textile art by Jacqueline Smith

From mid February to the end of March Inspire Gallery is playing host to an exciting new exhibition by three local artists. Gilli Slater, Rebecca Oaks and Jacqueline Smith have come together to create, 'Journeys', a dreamy voyage through coast and countryside. 

Having these three artists working together is creating the largest single exhibition that we have hosted. Gillie's Slater and Jacqueline Smith are both talented textile artists with very different styles which both manage to capture the magic of the local area in their own way. Rebecca Oaks is adding an extra dimension to the exhibition with her hand dyed yarn and wicker work which provides the link from the surroundings that we see to physical objects that  the observer will relate to.  

The artists, who all regularly exhibit in the South Lakes area, were brought together by Gilli who specialises in a unique 3D sculpted fabric technique. “Most of my work is inspired by the my walks through the countryside around Arnside and Silverdale.” Gilli continued, “I think that by bringing our unique styles together in a single exhibition we created something that really does take you through a journey in every sense of the word.”

Path to the meadow - by textile artist Gilli Slater

The use of layered textile is also very evident in Jacqueline Smiths work. She brings different materials together which are then finished with stitched elements and feature coastlines, flowers and even camper vans. Jacqueline also commented “I love the use of bright colours in my work as well as the freedom the larger pieces give me when I’m being creative.”

Rebecca Oaks very much has her roots in the South Lakes area and her hand dyed yarn and willow baskets really add an extra dimension to the exhibition. Her career as a coppice merchant has given her a unique understanding of the willow baskets she weaves. “I wanted to let people see the journey of the wool from my sheep to yarn using my baskets and books on coppicing, charcoal and Greenwood crafts.”

Handmade wicker basket by Rebecca Oaks

This is the latest in a series of successful exhibitions hosted in the Haselgrave Room at the gallery which has also become know for its creative launch events which have featured ice creams and sand pits amongst other things.

This time Gilli will be offering a sample of her ‘Artynoon Teas’ with tea, coffee and homemade cakes being served. The launch event is on between 1-3pm on Saturday 23rd February when you can meet the artists and talk about their work. 

The exhibition runs from Saturday 23rd February until Saturday 30th March. 

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