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Crafting Change: Community, Protest, Utopia

Apple Laundry Basket, Lois Walpole, 1995. Crafts Council Collection W121. Photo: Todd- White Art Photography

Exploring how communities throughout history have found new ways of living, protested about problems, and dreamed of creating a better world for themselves and the future

The themes in Craft Council exhibition, Hidden Agenda have inspired a concurrent exhibition of items from the museum collections held at The Wilson. Crafting Change: Community, Protest, Utopia will display items carefully selected from The Wilson’s Arts And Crafts Movement, local history, and Wilson family collections. Focusing on craft objects and archival material, the exhibition will explore the key themes of people’s rights, utopia, war, recycling and community.

Highlights in the exhibition will include a suffrage banner made by the Cheltenham Women’s Suffrage Society, a quilt made from recycled shirt tails, material relating to the GCHQ trade union protests of the 1980s, and a photograph album showing images of potteries workers for whom Rev Jim Wilson, one of the Antarctic explorer Edward Wilson’s brothers, campaigned to achieve better workers’ rights – both of which are on display for the very first time.

Work shown by key figures from the Arts and Crafts Movement will include furniture, textiles and metalwork by William Morris, C R Ashbee and Ernest Gimson alongside fascinating archival material – illustrating the utopian ideals of the Arts and Crafts Movement, and the dedication of its craftspeople to embodying utopian approaches to living and working. 

Crafting Change: Community, Protest, Utopia will be presented alongside partner exhibition, Hidden Agenda at The Wilson from 5 March - 5 June 2016.

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