Exhibition mines a golden seam of heritage

Mining a Golden Seam''Exhibition of Embroidery and Textiles by Members of the Embroiderers' Guild in the North East Region at Woodhorn'The Pit Village by Christine Shannon
Mining a Golden Seam''Exhibition of Embroidery and Textiles by Members of the Embroiderers' Guild in the North East Region at Woodhorn'The Pit Village by Christine Shannon

THE rich industrial and natural heritage of Northumberland is seen from a fresh angle in a new exhibition.

Woodhorn Museum and Northumberland Archives is playing host to the Mining a Golden Seam exhibition by members of the Embroiderers’ Guild in the North East.

The display, which is the first regional showcase presented by the embroiderers’ group for five years, draws on the mining history of the area, as well as its geology.

Around 80 members, of all ages and coming from an area from Wooler to North Yorkshire, created the delicate art work from fabric and thread.

Regional Chairman of the Guild Joy Bradshaw said: “Many different strands of ideas have come together to create and inspire the pieces in the show.

“Our mining heritage in the North East is featured strongly — memories of communities and the life that was so familiar when the pits were part of everyday life.

“Beside these interpretations of a familiar, but vanishing and changing world, come embroideries which mine the other treasures lying beneath the surface. These illustrate strata and geology, richly interpreted in stitch.”

Gold, in particular, has always held a fascination.

“The thought of golden seams inspires embroiderers, and it is a particular gift for those who enjoy using fabric and thread,” said Ms Bradshaw.

“We all love to include its richness in our special pieces and this exhibition has given an opportunity to celebrate and show it off in a spectacular way.

“The theme is also a metaphor for any type of exploration and searching that we may do when we dig into rich areas of the imagination, when we mine memories and reveal our individual passions, so there are unexpected and surprising ideas too, adding colour and excitement to the gallery display.”

Liz Ritson, who works at Woodhorn, is delighted the Ashington museum is hosting the work.

“There are some gorgeous pieces of work in this show and I’m sure all of our visitors will appreciate not just the obvious beauty of the embroidery, but the amazing skills and hours of dedication taken to produce the final piece,” she said.

The exhibition will run until Sunday, May 13.

For more details about the Embroiderers’ Guild and local groups visit www.embroiderersguild.com