Wednesday, 23 March 2016

The Harris Tweed Exhibition at Rheged

A little while ago I was invited to the opening of the Harris Tweed Exhibition at the Rheged Centre near Penrith.

(I should have blogged a while ago about this but have just discovered the photos on my camera :) )

The exhibition is in conjunction with The Harris Tweed Authority and contains the  most stunning photographs by photographer Ian Lawson who spent many years travelling back and forth from the Outer Hebrides to make this collection.

Before heading stright into the exhibition we had a little glass of welcome fizz and an explore around a couple of exhibitors that had connections with the Outer Hebrides.

A gin maker......  How utterly gorgeous are these bottles?  It would have been worth buying the gin just for the bottle, if it not had been for the fact that the gin was quite gorgeous in itself.  With notes of Juniper, Coriander, Angelica Root, Orris Root, Cubebs, Bitter Orange Peel, Licorice and Cassia Bark and Sugar Help, it is a really unusual yet delicious Gin. You can find out more about it HERE.

Then it was off for a wander around the Harris Tweed shop, which has 15 different Harris Tweeds along with an especially commissioned Westmorland Tweed, all for sale by the meter.

Also in the shop are some gorgeous gifts, all made up using Harris Tweed and ready to treat yourself to.

Handbags, wallets, tablet cases....

And these delightful purses from Emma at Hole House Bags.

Really lovely gifts such as Harris Tweed hanging hearts and the cutest little owls.

Of course, I had to treat myself, well it would have been most rude not to have.

Then it was time to go into the exhibition to look at the magnificent photos and meet the artist.

Here is a small selection of Ian Lawson's photographs.  The Exhibition is full, do go and see them for yourself.  I love the way he teams a Harris Tweed up with each photograph here, it makes your really appreciate the colours of both the cloth and of nature.

And this is the man himself, on the right, with Patrick Grant!! 

 Oh, did I mention Patrick Grant was there?  Him of Saville Row and The Sewing Bee fame?  No?  Well here is another photo, with me grinning like a Cheshire Cat!
Him in Tweed, me in Double Denim...... I really need to re-think my wardrobe!

Patrick gave a little talk on his love for Harris Tweed and his many visits to the islands.

There were loads of interesting exhibits on show too alongside the photograph.  Like old looms from the Harris factories, and colour samples like these..

I'm so glad they don't use 'urine' to set the dyes any more, I can imagine it had quite a pungent smell when the cloth got warm!

This exhibition is running until the end of May (2016), if you get the chance, do go and see it.  It's FREE to get in and well worth seeing in my opinion.  (but I think Patrick Grant already left  ;)  )

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