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At the heart of English folk
Caitlin Hinshelwood

Kissing the Shuttle

Caitlin Hinshelwood

27 September 2017 - 28 January 2018

This exhibition by Caitlin Hinshelwood presents large-scale textile banners created in response to research from the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library, the Working Class Movement Library, Salford and the People’s History Museum, Manchester.

The work explores qualities of protest and resistance inherent in industrial and working song and union and protest banners. It draws on the folk practices, forms of communication and community identity and camaraderie that were intrinsically tied to work and the workplace; taking into account the creative role of women in song and folklore practices.

Imagery touches upon the use of gestures, signs, symbolism, speech ways, and customs performed primarily in the textile trades and industries of the North of England and Northern Ireland alongside folk traditions that came directly from the mills or were closely connected to those communities.

The banners are intricately screen-printed on silk using embellishments of rosettes, ribbons, ruffles and fringing, adopting the visual language and craftsmanship of historic banners and associated folk costumes.

Caitlin Hinshelwood is a London based artist and textile designer interested in the narrative possibilities of textiles; how textiles can be used to communicate and how they can act as repositories of personal or social history. 

You can see the exhibition at any time when Cecil Sharp House is open: usually 9am-11pm, seven days a week. 




The Golden Thread Project

Various Artists

14 March 2018 - 29 July 2018

The Golden Thread project is a celebration of folk songs that have a UK root and found a place in the USA musical tradition. The project takes its inspiration from Cecil Sharp and Maud Karpeles’ collecting experiences in the Appalachian Mountains and is based on research undertaken in the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library.

These folk songs have shown that they can survive and transmute themselves over the years and remain relevant. A full-blooded murder ballad or a tragic love ballad, full of strangeness, joy, gloom and passion, is a storytelling opportunity that fires the imagination. Illustrators Geoff Coupland and Aidan Saunders have invited both emerging illustrators and established artists to respond to just such songs with a series of comic strips. The result is a unique exhibition, featuring more than 30 new works, produced in a wonderful variety of graphic styles.

Illustrator/Comic Artist Geoff Coupland (aka ZEEL) has a longstanding interest in folklore and has previously appeared at Cecil Sharp House with his magic lantern show based on the song "Babes in the Wood".

Illustrator/Printmaker Aidan Saunders is often to be seen at arts and music festivals with his Print Wagon, freshly pressing lino prints. His fascination with Americana was the spark that formed the basis of the Golden Thread Project.