15 May Crafting Futures: UK Study Tour – Textiles
A partnership between Craftspace and the British Council
Crafting Futures, 2018 (Photo: George Meyrick)
“Craftspace’s work is informed by global perspectives and this is a great opportunity to exchange knowledge and information with curators and practitioners from South East Asia.”
Craftspace partnered with The British Council to organise and host a six day Crafting Futures UK Study Tour for craft and textiles curators and collectors – a new initiative within their Crafting Futures programme.
The project aimed to create more opportunities for exchange between Asian and British craft curators, museums, galleries and programmes in order to generate greater storytelling and promotion of women in sustainable and ethical craft-based textile production.
Six curators from Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand participated in a study tour to the UK in June 2018. The tour included visits to museums, galleries, archives, collections and sites of production across the UK. Participants had the chance to network with British curators, museum workers, craft organisations and practitioners.
The aim of the study visit was to:
- Build stronger connections with the UK sector and create opportunities for future exchange
- Learn about curation and storytelling practices around craft and textiles in the UK
- Create opportunities for further storytelling around female textile artisans in Asia
On return, participants delivered events, activities, creative projects or exhibitions within their own institutions or organisations in order to tell the story of female textile artisans from their region to a contemporary and young audience.
The tour included:
- Newstead Abbey in Nottinghamshire to see historic lace collections and contemporary textiles
- Derby Museums to hear about innovative approaches to co-production around the re-development of the Silk Mill
- Gawthorpe Hall in Lancashire to see a textile collection of international importance and a contemporary artist’s response to a collection
- The William Morris Gallery in London to see unique collections and a temporary exhibition of international textiles curated by Lesley Millar who will give the group a guided tour
- The V&A to meet curators and see the textile collections
- The Fashion and Textiles Museum in London to have a tour and see the Orla Kiely exhibition
- The Royal College of Art textile degree show to see the emerging trends in new creative textile practice.
- The Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester to engage in a focused one hour study session with a cross section of textiles from the collection and examples of Learning Boxes used with audiences.
- Manchester Art Gallery to see craft and design collections and New North & South programme.
- Helmshore Mill Textile Museum in Lancashire for a tour of a traditional mill with Philip Butler, Curator of Industry & Technology.
- Marthe Armitage Studio for a discussion and demonstration from Marthe Armitage about her career and process.
- Design Museum in London to see the Designer Maker User collections and the story of design.
We also organised a textile focused sector networking event which took place in London on Thursday 21st June 2018.
“It was such an eye opening program and I have learned a lot through all the places we went and all the people we have met. For me, visiting to galleries, museums and exhibitions are like seeing my dream and vision of my organization in a clear picture. The stories we have heard and all the process and journey that the artists and curators went through inspired me a lot and at the same time feel so motivated.”
“As a museum lover, I cannot mention how much excited and thankful to you for giving chance to view many museums, galleries and special exhibitions. I am planning to share my experiences of good practices of UK museums and exhibitions not only at BC (Myanmar) office but also to my museum staff at the National Museum(Yangon).”
Crafting Futures supports the future of craft around the globe. This British Council programme strengthens economic, social and cultural development through learning and access.
Crafting Futures’ projects support practices and people, through research, collaboration and education. In Asia, Crafting Futures focuses on generating opportunities for female artisans.