Archives for posts with tag: Bronte

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The Most Beautiful Things Cannot Be Seen

Place Setting is a new work for the group exhibition ‘The Most Beautiful Things Cannot Be Seen’ at South Square Centre, Thornton. The show opens tomorrow (Saturday 8 February) and closes on Sunday 2 March 2014.

Place Setting is made up of 22 china tea and coffee cups turned upside down, to create a fairy ring of china ‘mushrooms’ on the gallery floor.

The cheap, mass-produced, mostly transfer printed, china challenges William Morris’s romance of craft and production and his command ‘‘to have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful’.

Place Setting exploits the transformative power of the ‘ready-made’ or found object. The act of making a cup resemble a mushroom responds to the natural world and the flora and fauna that the Arts and Crafts Movement referenced in their work. In arranging the cups in the form of a fairy ring, I also want to make a connection between the idealism of Morris and the location of Thornton. It is a place setting rich in folklore and myth making from Brontë shrines, Cottingley with its dubious photographic fairies, to nearby Keighley, once the centre of British theosophy and spiritualism.

Place Setting
22 China cups, 22 Tesco Toilet Tissue cardboard cores, some IKEA cardboard packaging

The Most Beautiful Things Cannot Be Seen
Taking the work of William Morris as a starting point, this group exhibition explores the relationship between beauty, nature and imagination.

Curated by Samina Hamid.

South Square Centre
South Square
BD13 3LD


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Walking from Thornton to Bradford.

My proposal to South Square Centre’s ‘The Most Beautiful Things Cannot Be Seen’ exhibition has been accepted and so a week last Friday I visited the gallery in Thornton. I decided not to wait for the bus to get back to the train station in Bradford and instead walked down the B6145 from Thornton to Bradford, passing the Brontë birthplace on the way . A marker plaque records that ‘In This House Were Born The Following Members of the Brontë Family, Charlotte 1816, Patrick Branwell 1817, Emily Jane 1818, Anne 1820’. Haworth and the Brontë parsonage (where the family lived from 1820) is about 6 miles north-west of Thornton.

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