Art and craft exhibitions in our galleries change around five times a year, ranging from top quality textile exhibitions to first class photography, amazing art exhibitions and cracking craft shows. All of our exhibitions are FREE ENTRY.
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The Great CollectorTreasury Museum
Edward Harley, 2nd Earl of Oxford (1689-1741) was one of the greatest collectors in Britain’s history. This exhibition shows a selection of the extraordinary art, decorative crafts and fine books that he amassed.
Welbeck’s historic Portland Collection contains some of the beautiful objects which belonged to Edward Harley. The son of one of the most powerful politicians in the country, Edward Harley married Welbeck’s Henrietta Cavendish-Holles - the wealthiest heiress in Britain. On his death, many of the objects from Edward Harley’s collections were sold to the nation but a selection of items were kept and treasured by his wife and daughter.
This exhibition provides the opportunity to see these cherished objects from Edward Harley’s collection, including rare books and precious miniatures.
Explore some of the artworks
Buy the exhibition publication
Did you know? This exhibition was designed by Real Studios, who also designed the David Bowie Is.. exhibition at the V&A!
As Large As Life
Quentin BlakeMain Auditorium & Gallery 1
13 November 2013 – 12 January 2014
Sir Quentin Blake’s charming illustrations are well known from children’s books – his name conjures images of giraffes and pelicans, book loving children, giant fruit or magic pencils!
Quentin has been commissioned by hospitals and health centres, in the UK and abroad, to produce works which have a therapeutic effect on their residents. This exhibition brings over 50 prints from the much loved artist to The Harley Gallery, for visitors to experience these restorative effects for themselves.
These drawings are instantly recognisable as Quentin’s work, combining his characteristic wit and warmth with subtly refined, reassuring colour, tone and quality of line. The images soothe the senses while drawing you into their narratives. “I think the very presence of pictures helps to make being in, or visiting a hospital a more normal, less alien experience. What I have tried to include is a certain amount of detail, some interesting activities, and some suggestions of the little drama of relationships, so that the viewers – especially any who have to wait – may feel the desire to go on looking and perhaps even to speculate about the stories happening in front of them.”
Quentin Blake www.quentinblake.co.uk
Visiting over Christmas? Please check our Christmas Opening Hours
This exhibition has been organised by Compton Verney in collaboration with the House of Illustration.
From the Ordinary Life in Vincent Square series, © Quentin Blake
Tapestries by Jilly EdwardsMain Auditorium & Gallery 1
22 January – 23 March 2014
Jilly Edwards is one of the UK’s leading tapestry weavers. Over the course of her 40 year career, she has exhibited internationally and has tapestries in collections in the UK, USA and Japan.
These tapestries tell stories about Jilly’s journeys through different landscapes. This exhibition will include new works which, unusually for Jilly’s work, feature a vivid yellow colour palette.
‘I may produce 50 sketches/drawings but only produce a few woven tapestries. Always the work has an element of the landscape, whether I am walking to the corner shop, or at the beach or on the train travelling through unfamiliar countryside, but it’s not about the landscape, it’s about my feelings, thoughts, memories that the sights, words and sounds evoke in me.’ related events
The abstract compositions of these tapestries seem spontaneous, often like broad washes of watercolour, yet they represent a considered, lengthy making process. Jilly distils the designs for her tapestries from these vast quantities of notes and sketches, before weaving the finished work. Tapestry weaving is a time consuming and laborious process of weaving – a tapestry 10 by 12 feet in size can take over a year to complete.
Ma. 2002. 90 x 230cm - on plinth in front of Ma, A walk from Porthmeor to Zennor. Date 2009. Size: 20 x 300cm. Photographer: Robert Edwards.
Added Value?2 April - 1 June 2014
Is Craft a new language for luxury?
Added Value? will show work by six highly skilled makers to investigate our emotional response to handmade products and to question why craft is considered valuable.
Materials Exhibiting Artists
Do the materials used make craft valuable? Diamonds, silver, slate and thread are all used by Zoe Arnold to create her jewellery installations. Although these materials vary widely in cost, rarity and sentimental value; when combined by Arnold and made into jewellery all these materials take on new meaning and value.
Perhaps the skills of the maker create value in contemporary craft? Oliver Ruuger crafts fashion accessories through labour intensive processes, combining highly skilled techniques to create luxurious objects.
Work by Simon Hasan will be on show, made in collaboration with fashion house Fendi. Does the unique nature of craft give back to luxury brands what mass production and replication take away?
The exhibition will feature shoes by carréducker, which are made to order using 200 different processes. Commissioning a bespoke craft item means that the product is personalized to your exact requirements, a luxurious, satisfying process which develops a relationship between maker and customer.
The ability to add value through experience is further explored through edible works of art by Bompas and Parr, which consider how craft provides an experience through its quality, authenticity and tactility.
Contemporary craft can be a way to make spaces more beautiful and enjoyable. Is it a vehicle to add value to everyday experiences? This idea is explored through Tracy Kendall’s elaborate handmade wallpaper; Added Value? will give you the chance to see some of her wallpaper and to discover her studio and processes.
Visit the Added Value? website
A Crafts Council Touring Exhibition
Dorchester Derby, carréducker, 2012. Photo: Nick Moss/Crafts Council
Jason Taylor11 June - 10 August 2014
Jason Taylor is an established designer who has worked on many diverse projects and commissions. He has exhibited and sold his range of lighting and furniture around the world, in art galleries and museums, as well as high street shops and design outlets, such as The Conran Shop.
He works with everyday items and transforms them in to new designs. In late 2011, Jason set himself the challenge of making a new piece of work every day of the year, throughout 2012.
Using mundane, household objects he created a vast array of witty, surprising and ingenious new designs.
The Everyday Objects will be accompanied by a new installation piece made especially for The Harley Gallery.
Visit the Everyday Objects website
A 20-21 Visual Arts Centre Touring Exhibition
Photo: Jason Taylor