Southwell Minster is delighted to announce that they are hosting what is possibly the biggest textiles exhibition by a single artist in the world.
This spectacular and ground-breaking exhibition of textile art by Jacqui Parkinson is on show from 16 October to 30 November in the Quire Aisles of the Minster, the final stop of an extensive tour of cathedrals across Britain. Threads through Revelation uses superb stitching and vivid colour to depict the Bible’s Book of Revelation.
The Dean, the Very Revd Nicola Sullivan, says: “I have worked with Jacqui Parkinson before and am thrilled that we have managed at last to get this stunning exhibition to the Minster. We want as many visitors as possible to come and enjoy these vivid, striking panels which intrigue and fascinate both people of faith, and people of no faith by the sheer scale and ambition of this project.”
Jacqui, who lives in Devon, is a textile artist whose work has been on display in many cathedrals over the past 12 years. Her exhibitions have included different themes, including prayer, grief, creation, service and rites of passage. They have generated very warm responses from visitors, guides and congregations.
She says: “It doesn’t matter whether you know a lot or nothing at all about the Revelation. Through my stitching, I hope to bring people into the drama of a book that is both encouraging and scary. John of Patmos recorded an amazing series of visions; here you’ll see my response to most of the images in the book and get a sense of the startling, stunning and challenging events. I hope that many people will feel like looking at Revelation again with fresh, hopeful eyes.”
Jacqui started on this ambitious piece of work four years ago, and has distilled the complex narrative of the last book of the Bible into 14 very large panels – made from old bedsheets – each nearly 3m high and varying in width between 1m and 3m.
This remarkable project put side to side makes up nearly 30 metres of textile art – which took over 3½ years to complete – and has more than eleven million stiches!
She uses some unusual – and possibly unique – techniques: a combination of painted dyes and multi-layered silks cut to create an extraordinary frayed effect and then additional appliqued silks and metallic leathers stitched on top, with some real gold gilding.
All the places and characters in the vision are larger than life and out of this world. The vivid colours of the dyes and silks help to convey the imagery of this epic narrative with drama and excitement.
Visitors can enjoy the exhibition at all levels. At one level it is simply an absorbing and beautiful visual experience. Anyone who stitches will find it fascinating and stimulating, while children will enjoy spotting all kinds of interesting things
Jacqui continues: “I enjoy the idea of working with ordinary bed sheets: sheets that hold all our dreams and hopes – all our sorrows and tears – sheets that cover us at birth and at death. Then I transform the sheets with vibrant dyes and dazzling silks – changing them from something ordinary to something extraordinary.
It’s a reminder for me that all of us have areas of our lives that need transformation – the making good of all that has been broken – the forgiveness of Jesus. Affirmation that all of us are ordinary and yet extraordinary. And that God’s focus is on revealing, through his Holy Spirit, everything that is beautiful in us – from the inside out. And the invitation is open to all of us – who come close to look – and chose to say ‘yes please’.”