Textiles Map History of Artists' Experiences

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ART and history have always been entwined, and with the passage of time functional artefacts, ceremonial paraphernalia, and everyday accoutrements have become artworks. This is true of textiles. Originally used to protect and warm, fabric soon became clothing stitched and tailored to individual needs.

Three current regional exhibitions feature textiles in very different ways yet each maps a history of experience, both personal and universal, that is richly rewarding.

The Warwick Regional Art Gallery is presenting "Girls, Brides then Young Wivesa, a fascinating display of garments from Warwick's Pringle Cottage Collection. The bridal gowns, dresses, and tea frocks date from 1912 to 1961. They reflect the changing vagaries of fashion, but more significantly, they pay homage to domestic craft and the careful needlework of loving hands. The exhibition includes beautiful table settings, wedding photographs, glory boxes with their hopeful contents, and homely advice from a[approximately]ladies journals' for girls and young wives. The companion exhibition, "Treasures from a Grandmother: Hilda's Doily and Other Thingsa, is the work of Stanthorpe artist June Fiford. It is a family tribute to skills handed down through the generations. There are fragments of garments such as baby's dresses which have been carefully cut and re-sewn to create new and original artworks. Fiford is an expert in the Medieval art of gold embroidery and delicate examples of this lush and precise work are shown to great effect. …