Sunday, 28 August 2011

Purls by the Sea

It isn't very often that you have a knitting exhibition right on your doorstep! So this week I paid a visit to The Belfry Arts Centre in Overstrand, on the North Norfolk coast. In the flier it says ....

'Often defined by the materials used to create it, yarn used in knitting is small and warm and soft and lacks the glamour and scale of other media. There is however excitement in the idea that complex three dimensional forms can be created from a single length of yarn and anything can be used for knitting as long as it has length and flexibility.'

Elizabeth Gaston (Senior Teaching Fellow at the School of Design, University of Leeds)

I'd heard mixed reviews of the exhibition from members of my knitting group - some loved it and others hated it! So I was interested to see what was on offer. Knitting still has a very 'grannified' image in this country, so it was lovely to see such creativity on show. The exhibition is meant to be part of a celebration challenging the idea of knitting as a traditional domestic craft.

The centrepiece was a display of miniature fishermen's ganseys. Each of the one hundred represents locations key to the fishing industry along the coastline.

Purls of the Sea exhibition 036

All the ganseys started out the same, and were decorated in a variety of ways. This was recorded on a label attached to each individual gansey, as you can see below.


There were some stunning fish, knit from wire. They were incredibly tactile, and looked fantastic hanging in a shoal.

Purls of the Sea exhibition 062

There were a number of intricate 'pictures' on the walls that drew you in to examine them more closely.

Knitted picture

There was a wall hanging that had been produced using contributions from both local and national knitters, as well as from workshops held during the exhibition. It was very bright and cheery! It's going to go on permanent display at the centre.

coastline wall hanging

This little chap made me smile - I wonder where he is going to end up on the wall hanging?!

Purls of the Sea exhibition 016

An awful lot of work has gone into putting on this exhibition, and I enjoyed looking around. I wonder if it has managed to change people's perceptions of knitting at all?!!


faith76 said...

Looked like a great exhibition - thank you for sharing your pictures.

I love it all but I usually do like art and seeing something new.

Leah x

peahen said...

Looks fascinating! I'm not sure if I can get back to Norfolk while it's on (do you know the dates?) but I'll send my Mum.

I lived in Overstrand for a while, is the Belfry Arts Centre what used to be the Belfry primary school or is the school still there?

Lyn said...

wow what a great exhibition! I love the shrimp!

Helsie said...

Wow, I think the exhibition was great too. Absolutely loved the mural/ wall hanging and the little prawn would fit in there beautifully.
My SIL has knitted mme a lovely bracelet with wire and beads. Must do a post about it.

snoopydogknits said...

Looks like it was well worth the visit! :-) RosX

floor register said...

Wow, it is a creative exhibition!! You are great!

Anonymous said...

oh my goodness - how fabulous!!!