A Visible THREAD launches at ACEarts

26 November – 24 December 2022
Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 5pm


seam collective presents A Visible THREAD, an exhibition which explores the visibility and invisibility of thread at ACEarts, Somerton from 26 November until 24 December 2022. Through their unique perspectives and a diverse range of textile disciplines, eight seam artists have created new works to stimulate thought, connection and conversation. You are also invited to meet the artists at ACEarts on Saturday 26th November, 11am – 1pm, for our opening event.  

Read more about A Visible THREAD exhibition, our thoughts behind A Visible THREAD in Making thread visible, how it started as a research residency in Spring 2022, and what we got up to during our residency on our blog.

Here is a sneak peek of the work and the artists’ concepts behind their work. Although the artists styles are different to one another, they share related interests in working with traditional textile mediums in new and experimental ways. There is a distinctly visible thread throughout the works conceptually. Their work explores relationships of identity, tradition, heritage and memory whilst being mindful of the context of their work in terms of sustainability and contemporary textile practice.

Lou Baker, (m)other
(m)other is part of a new series of soft sculptures which Baker started making at seam‘s research residency at The Holburne Open. Using what she describes as ‘sloppy stitch’, Baker has been transforming a selection of her parents’ old bedding and towels into uncanny, abstract bodily forms. These abject objects address the complexities of intimacy, memory and loss.

Oliver Bliss, detail from Queer Words are Fruit and Reeds
The work is exploring the changing nature of myths and legends as they get altered and changed through time. This piece explores the visible threads of narratives in history. With two queered figures relating to the love between two youths, Kalamos and Karpos, originally from Greek myth, and the retelling of their stories through Walt Whitman and David Hockney. 

Jane Colquhoun, Manifest (show of hands)
The work provokes the question: ‘Whose hand do you long to hold once more?’ Through the residency Colquhoun examined vintage dolls. Colquhoun states: ‘The lone hand appears to symbolise loss, longing and hope but is also comical and creepy.’

Nina Gronw-Lewis, Gatherings
Gronw-Lewis is currently exploring the possibilities of thinking through making, she has been drawn to using clay in her practice. Clay has long featured in our history, a material purposed for necessity, utility, tools, ornaments, artifice, jewel, decor and more. Although Gronw-Lewis has enjoyed working with the materiality of clay, it has been important for her to also use fibre and stitch. Here the thread is paper string, employed to highlight the shape of the stitch, as it holds its structure. In history, fibrous materials emerged as functional objects. Gatherings’ function is as a talisman for us all, a portable symbol of protection. 

Helen MacRitchie, Can you Crack the Walnut?

The work examines the cognitive effects of walnuts to improve brain health. Walnuts contain a high concentration of a type of omega-3- fatty acid that has been shown to improve cognitive performance in adults, and prevent or ameliorate age related cognitive decline.

Joy Merron, Charmed Costerel

The work has a playful exploration of historic approaches with materials and craft. Merron provides inventive contemporary interpretations with reconstructed fabric costrels and teabag vessels. The work challenges design, aesthetic and purpose.

Lydia Needle, Legacy
The work explores the amounts of textiles waste created per person annually in the UK with this experimental interpretation through this new installation.

Linda Row, detail from Flaxed Jacket
Row has chosen organic denim and hand spun flax for this piece, thus creating a thread both with the land and the historical use of flax for clothing.

We are very excited about showcasing these new works to the public! We hope to see you at ACEarts on Saturday 26th November for our launch event from 11am – 1pm. The work will be on display until 24 December; further dates and venues for this exhibition will be released in 2023.

Oliver Bliss