Weave your stories into a quilt for Bute art show

Sheelagh Boyce (left) and Annabelle Harty (right).

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Quilters on Bute are invited to weave their own stories into blankets made from cherished old garments, for an exhibition next year in the island’s eccentric historic house Mount Stuart.

The project, called Gather and Arrange, is run by artists Sheelagh Boyce and Annabelle Harty, who create ‘architectural quilts’ under the name Arrange Whatever Pieces Come Your Way. A display of their work begins on September 7 at Mount Stuart, followed by the participatory project leading to a second exhibition in 2022.

Next year’s exhibition will present the islanders’ quilts beside Boyce and Harty’s works of art, including a huge tablecloth to cover Mount Stuart’s dining-room table made entirely from waiters’ jackets and aprons from London’s Rochelle Canteen and St John Restaurant, which was established by Harty’s brother, the chef Fergus Henderson.

An architectural quilt by artists Boyce and Harty.

‘Communities and individuals across Bute will be invited to make their own quilts from their own old and cherished garments,’ explained the artists’ publicist Amandine Butticaz.

‘Participating makers will gather used clothes, made special by the person that wore them, the occasion for which they were worn or the patina of wear.

‘Sheelagh Boyce and Annabelle Harty envisage the history and nature of quilt making as core to the sense of community-led work and will share their skills with community members.

‘Elements of memories, people, places and experiences will be encouraged into the quilts.

‘Each new quilt will be worked on, in workshop format, across the winter months, in Mount Stuart’s conservatory, an area filled with light and originally conceived to look at the stars.

‘Makers will be encouraged to choose, as a starting point, a place, a landscape, a building – it could be the corner shop, an architectural detail, the telephone cables sitting within the landscape.

‘These quilts will then be exhibited in 2022 at Mount Stuart.’

Mount Stuart is an extraordinary Neo-Gothic mansion on the Island of Bute, sitting between Glasgow, Argyll and Ayrshire on the Firth of Clyde.

Since 2001, this unorthodox building has provided both the inspiration and location for an acclaimed contemporary visual arts programme.

Anyone interested in taking part in this project can contact Morven Gregor at morven@mountstuart.com to express their interest.