Fascinating Guild Member Residencies at The Wilson Museum and Gallery in Cheltenham alongside the exhibition
Ernest Gimson: Observation, Imagination and Making from 23 November 2019 – 23 February 2020
Founded in 1933 the Gloucestershire Guild of Crafts developed out of the vibrant Arts and Crafts Movement in the Cotswolds at the turn of the 20th century and as such forms a direct link to the work of Ernest Gimson. Gimson’s work embraced a number of forms which are currently represented by the Guild including furniture, woodwork and textiles. 2019 marks the centenary of the death of Ernest Gimson: ‘The greatest of the English artist-craftsmen’. He was one of the key designers of the Arts and Crafts Movement and lived and worked in Sapperton, a village not far from Cheltenham, for most of his life.
The residencies will present work by seven contemporary Guild members who will in turn present their work and practice through the ideas underpinning the Gimson exhibition. The central table showing their process and work will map a journey of Observation, Imagination and Making.
This curated in-house exhibition explores Gimson’s creative process as a designer, focusing in turn on his architecture, furniture, textiles, metalwork and plaster. The Wilson holds Gimson’s extensive archive of sketchbooks, designs, photographs and letters and the exhibition will explore the journey of Gimson’s ideas from sketch to finished product with items from our collection and with rarely seen private loans.
The first residency as part of this Ernest Gimson exhibition will be taken by textile designer and artist Liz Lippiatt. Liz says …
“The Arts and Crafts Movement has interested me for many years as a maker, and my passion has grown with the inspiration of the author and former curator of the A & C collection at the Wilson, Mary Greensted.
I believe that with the link between the Wilson Museum’s important collections of the Arts and Crafts, and the Gloucestershire Guild of Crafts, we need to celebrate these ties at a time when the ethos of this movement is more important than ever, as climate change and the saturation of the world with throw away production are assuming such importance.
Mary introduced me to the wonderfully simple and stylish Gimson design for embroidery, the pea and bean designs on the borders, at Pinbury around 1896. With Mary’s support I was given permission from the Gimson family which allowed me to adapt and print this work for cushion designs when we opened the Guild Gallery in 2013.
I am drawn to Gimson’s designs because of his love for the natural world and his fresh, clear interpretation and fine flowing designs. They have a timeless quality which I find more appealing than the sometimes heavier more complicated designs of William Morris. I love the beauty he found in humble vegetables, birds and his snail trail and my designs reflect the same joy of nature with my hare, barley and bluebell designs.”