This charming exhibition documents the rise of female artists in post-war Britain and the impact they had on shaping the textile design industry.
The main segment focuses on Lucienne Day, Marian Mahler and Jacqueline Groag – the most influential to the change of direction in British textile design.
Following decades of traditional floral chintz and naturalistic forms these three artists pioneered the bold, abstract and colourful style that defined post war interiors and led the way for other notable designers including Palue Vezelay, Mary Warren and Mary White, whose most popular designs are also featured.
The exhibition details the innovative relationships between manufacturers such as Heals and David Whitehead Ltd and the artists themelves, the risks they took by producing the modern and stylish fabrics and promotional material in original magazines.
The designs still retain a contemporary feel, as well as a familiar nostalgia, and the colourways are extremely well executed and composed. Large rectangles of fabric hang about the exhibition, whilst some are strung as curtains, kitchen linens, mini tables and hand towels and show the diversity of the artists’ works. A beautiful section features Jacqueline Groag’s tiny, intricate paper collages depicting her designs pre-production as well as the finished textiles.
There are a number of workshops to complement the exhibition – details can be found at: FTM Events
Designing Women at the Fashion and Textile Museum runs from the 16 March- 16 June and is open Tuesday – Saturday 11am-6pm