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At the heart of English folk
The Golden Thread Project

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.



Aidan Saunders, Beau Brannick, Bette Belle Blanchard, Billy Mather, Daryl Rainbow, Drew Webster, Fiontan Fitzgerald, Fran Colomb, Gary Northfield, Hannah Dyson, Hunt Emerson, Jim Stoten, Jonathan Edwards, Jonny Hannah, Kim Fountain, Lesley Barnes, Lord Hurk, Marie Morelle, Mark Stafford, Nick White, Orson Coupland, Peter Lloyd, Rob Nicol, Soju Tanaka, Stephen Fowler, Tommy Brentnall, Woodrow Phoenix, ZEEL.

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.

Listen to the Spotify Playlist