Artist Textiles at New Lanark

Horrockses Fashions c1949

Horrockses Fashions epitomised the traditional cotton summer frock in the 1940s and 50s. They were considered affordable, but were also worn by celebrities including the Queen, Princess Margaret and Margot Fonteyn, and the fabric was often designed by well-known artists. The dress on the left uses fabric by Alastair Morton and the other two are by Graham Sutherland.

Aztec by Patrick Heron 1946

The dresses and fabrics in this post are part of the exhibition Artist Textiles: Picasso to Warhol which began life at the Fashion and Textile Museum in London in 2014. Since then, it has been to the Netherlands, the USA and Canada, and now it has arrived in Scotland where you can see it at New Lanark until 29th April. Follow the link for details – I highly recommend it. Three things amazed me – how many of the artists I had never associated with textiles, how different their designs were to their other work, and how many of the garments could be worn today without looking out of place. See what you think!

Henry Moore

Salvador Dalí

Pablo Picasso

Joan Miró

Andy Warhol

A final selection

As with all the images, clicking to enlarge will reveal artist, title and date.

Do you have a favourite? Let me know in the comments. I would love to have that very first dress by Alastair Morton – and the waistline to carry it off!

Lanark and the Mouse Water

New Lanark
New Lanark

This time last year, I wrote about New Lanark and the Falls of Clyde. The other Sunday we were back in New Lanark, but this time walking in the other direction. However, as before, we started with the exhibition in the Institute for the Formation of Character – followed by lunch, of course. No walking on an empty stomach!

Currently showing (till 31st March) is Keeping Glasgow in Stitches. This series of banners was made to celebrate Glasgow’s year as European Capital of Culture in 1990. Each of the 12 panels was made by a different group and represents one month of the year. When displayed in order, a representation of the River Clyde runs along the top and they spell out GLASGOW – 1990. It made me feel very nostalgic, especially when reading comments in the Visitors’ Book from embroiderers who had contributed to the work.

The first part of the walk was on pavement – climbing out of New Lanark’s valley, we reached the original town of Lanark and walked down its main street. The imposing church is St Nicholas with its statue of William Wallace.

After passing through the town, we took a small country road above the Mouse Water, dropping down to cross it by the bridge in the picture below.

Mouse Water
Mouse Water

From there, we climbed up the other side to Cartland Crags  and followed Mouse Water again, with good views back to Lanark, until it reached the Clyde at Kirkfieldbank.

Here, we crossed the Clyde twice, first on the 1950s road bridge which carries the A72, then we immediately went back over the much more picturesque Clydesholm Bridge which dates from the 1690s. This is now pedestrianised and forms part of the Clyde Walkway.

It was now a straightforward route along the Walkway to New Lanark, a nice cup of tea and the car – but it wasn’t exactly an easy riverside stroll. The banks of the Clyde here are steep and forested, and the path zigzags up and down several times. (My Fitbit told me I had achieved 145 floors that day, one floor being equivalent to about 10 feet.)

Our route on this walk came from a new purchase – The Clyde : 25 walks from source to sea by KR Fergus. It’s one of a great series published by PocketMountains which a) aren’t all about mountains but b) do fit into your pocket. Another series we like, which we first bought in the Lake District and have since added several Scottish titles to our collection, is Hallewell’s Pocket Walking Guides. If either of these series publishes guides to where you like to hike then I highly recommend them.

Linked to Jo’s Monday Walks. Head over there for worldwide cyber-hiking.

 

New Lanark and the Falls of Clyde

New Lanark
New Lanark

New Lanark was built in the 1780s by cotton mill owner David Dale to house his workers. His son-in-law, Robert Owen, became a managing partner of New Lanark in 1800 and expanded the business while also implementing a series of social and educational reforms designed to improve the quality of life of his workforce. Today, the village is owned by a trust – the mills have been turned into museums and a hotel, and many of the millworkers’ homes have been restored and reoccupied.

Our most recent visit was not to view the mills – we’ve done that several times. We wanted to see a tapestry that was on display, and then have a walk up to the Falls of Clyde. Tapestries are quite the thing at the moment – last year, I wrote about both the Great Tapestry of Scotland and the Scottish Diaspora Tapestry. Those two were similar in that they had a theme but each panel stood on its own. This one told the story of the Battle of Prestonpans in 1745 (when Bonnie Prince Charlie defeated the government army) so it was like a giant comic-strip. Here’s just a flavour:

I also loved the banners round the walls:

Then it was off for our walk. We’ve done this before too, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much water in the Falls – the immense power which was available to the mills is obvious. We followed the Clyde Walkway past Corra Linn….

….as far as the even more spectacular Bonnington Linn.

We then looped back on the woodland trail and had a last stroll round the village before starting the climb back up to the carpark….

….via the Old Cemetery, reflecting on Robert Owen’s words as we went. Truly a man ahead of his time.

I’ve added this to Jo’s Monday Walk collection.