Unfortunately, this exhibition will not go ahead at this weekend’s Saltaire Arts Trail, due to unforeseen technical issues.
We are really disappointed to have to make this decision and are working hard with Chrissie to make sure that we can share her wonderful tapestries with you soon. Please keep an eye on our social media channels and website for details of our future plans. We apologise for any disappointment this may cause visitors this weekend and hope that you will enjoy the rest of our busy programme throughout Saltaire and Shipley.
The loom has been central to storytelling for centuries, although usually political and religious propaganda hanging from the walls of castles and cathedrals. Chrissie Freeth’s work continues this tradition but transforms small personal moments, fragile memories, and unconfronted experiences into large-scale handwoven, contemporary tapestries.
She plays with traditional iconography and a personal vocabulary of symbolism to build her narratives, and her work focuses on the skills of the medieval weaver when the medium was at its zenith and an art form in its own right, rather than as later, an imitator of others. Although medieval tapestries remain a foundational inspiration and academic interest her work re-imagines them for contemporary relevance.
She works on a traditional upright loom in her workroom in Saltaire, where she will work one to two thousand hours to weave a single tapestry. She works with a cotton warp and a woollen weft she hand-dyes herself. Five to six tapestries will be on display in the newly restored United Reformed Church, two being exhibited for the first time.
Previously her work has been exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, in Artapestry6, a triennial that showcases the best contemporary tapestry weaving in Europe and she has been shortlisted for the Cordis Prize, the most prestigious prize for contemporary tapestry. She has studied medieval tapestries in collections across Europe and in the States as a Churchill Fellow and last year had a solo exhibition at Ripon Cathedral.