Winchester Embroiderers’ Guild 50th Anniversary Exhibition

Press Release: 04/11/2013

Example of embroidery on display - Joan Sortwell, Summertime.

An exhibition celebrating 50 years of the Winchester Embroiderers’ Guild will be hosted by City Space at the Winchester Discovery Centre from Saturday 9 November 2013 to Sunday 5 January 2014.

Since 1963 the Guild’s members have been getting together to produce vibrant and colourful textiles and to promote embroidery in Winchester and the surrounding area.

The exhibition will show the diversity of methods and inspiration used by today’s embroiderers, skills applied to enhance work in both 2D and 3D as well as the more traditional pieces.

Today the Guild has over 80 members and two flourishing groups of young embroiderers. Members of the group will be on hand throughout the exhibition to talk to visitors and demonstrate the techniques used to produce their work.

Ann Wheeler of Winchester Embroiderers’ Guild said:

The Winchester branch of the Embroiderers’ Guild is delighted to mark the celebration of its 50th anniversary with an exhibition of members’ work in City Space at the Discovery Centre. On show will be a varied display of textiles including traditional and contemporary techniques with contributions from our two thriving Young Embroiderers’ groups.

Over the centuries textiles, both decorative and functional, have played an important role in cultures throughout the world. Some of the finest embroidered textiles were being produced in Winchester during the Saxon period, part of a tradition that reached its height between 1250-1350, when ‘English work’, or opus anglicanum, was exported and admired all over Europe. This was viewed as an art form on a par with stained glass, sculpture and architecture. On a domestic level embroidery, beading, smocking and the patchwork quilt made from recycled materials, are examples of cherished and ordinary textiles that have been a feature of English social history since the Middle Ages.

Cllr Robert Humby, Winchester City Council’s Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, said:

For 50 years Winchester Embroiderers’ Guild members have been enthusiastic and skilled advocates of a textile tradition which has been practised in Winchester for over 1,000 years, a tradition that looks to be in safe hands for many years to come.

The exhibition opens on Saturday 9 November 2013 and runs until Sunday 5 January 2014.

City Space opening times: Monday – Friday 10am – 6pm, Saturday 10am – 5pm, Sunday 11am – 3pm. Closed Bank Holidays.

Admission is free.