Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Creating a Community Wall Hanging at Temple Newsam House

The City of Leeds YMCA Sewing group, pictured with Councillor Lucinda Yeadon

The inspiration to create a new wall hanging for Temple Newsam House came out of a community engagement session about textiles through history.

The City of Leeds YMCA Sewing group, based at Osmondthorpe, visited Temple Newsam on two occasions in 2013 to learn about Leeds Museums and Galleries’ Textile Collection. During one of their visits they viewed fabrics in the Textile Discovery Room, chose fabrics that were of a particular interest to them and gave reasons behind their choices.

We discussed how to make the Textile Discovery Room look more interesting and colourful. The idea of creating a community wall hanging was born. Members of the group decided to design images on 30cm squares of material with themes based around Temple Newsam House.

The museum and the community collaborating

As momentum for the project developed, staff, volunteers and members of other learning groups became interested and expressed a desire to contribute. Eventually the created squares reflected other interests and cultures beyond Temple Newsam House.

A member of the Family Learning group from Osmondthorpe offered to sew all the squares together to produce the finished piece that now adorns the Textile Discovery Room.

By Helen Pratt, Assistant Community Curator, Temple Newsam House

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