With 26 exhibitors to explore across the State Floor and Below Stairs, here’s a low down of everything that is appearing as part of the inaugural Harewood Biennial Useful/Beautiful: Why Craft Matters.
The Drive & Entrance Hall
Who, What, Where, When (Harewood commission)
Question Everything (Harewood commission)
Anthony Burrill’s specially-commissioned works – Who, What, Where, When and Question Everything – make for an arresting arrival experience and set the tone for the exhibition.
Specially-bound (by Kate Holland) edition of Joseph Rose: Working Drawings
Kate Holland specialises in beautiful hand-bound books. Here, she takes inspiration from the content of 19th century plasterer Joseph Rose’s sketch book of the Harewood ceilings he designed with Robert Adam.
Big Vase designed by Max Lamb
Based in Stoke-on-Trent, 1882 Ltd pair the skilled local community with guest designers to create contemporary ceramics. Here they demonstrate the slip-cast process and celebrate the many people who bring their industrial craft to life.
Princess Mary’s Dressing Room
Jenny King Embroidery
Embroidered panels alongside an Erdem dress
Working with numerous fashion brands and icons, from Erdem to Vivienne Westwood, Jenny King uses Irish sewing machines, which ceased production in the 1950s to produce exquisite hand-embroidered textiles.
Princess Mary’s Bathroom
Glassworks as part of the Ode to Intuicion series
Inspired by a series of perfume bottles that belonged to her Grandmother, Princess Mary’s bathroom features these intriguing characters assembled from blown and found glass.
Breathe Glass Vessels
These glass vessels by Jahday Ford physically freeze a moment in time. The sound of his breath is recorded and digitally transformed into a 3D mould, into which glass is then blown.
Watercolour Room 1
Jeans for Men and Women
Based in the Welsh town of Cardigan, these jeans are made using the incredible skills of a community that were lying dormant after a factory closure. The simple motto of ‘Do one thing well’ has become the brand and community’s ethos for living and working.
Watercolour Room 2
Merino Wool Mountain Shirts
Not so far from Harewood in the West Yorkshire town of Slaithwaite, all the materials that go into making McNair shirts are sourced from within 10 miles of where they are made. Their shirts are made with nature in mind, both in their production and in the wear, and are meant to last a lifetime.
Wild Sea, The Seasons lino prints and photographs
Inspired by the stunning scenery surrounding their studio in County Mayo, Superfolk design products and prints in lino block, which is then applied to Japanese Washi Paper creating rich, ethereal works of art.
Michael May Knives
Bespoke Pocket knives
A city synonymous with steel, Sheffield has a rich heritage in knife making. Although the mass production steel industry is largely gone, several craftspeople remain in the area practicing and teaching heritage skills. Michael May is one such bespoke knife maker and beacon for a new generation.
Lord Harewood’s Sitting Room
Phaedra V2 Throw, Xenodice and Deucalion Floor Cushions
Creating beautiful, functional textiles and objects through ‘zero waste’ is a mantra for Maria Sigma, who heads up the award-winning ethical textile brand.
Undercover series: Island, Undercover XIII and Undercover XV
Taking everyday life as her inspiration, Whitby-based Effie Burns creates miniature landscapes of glass objects cast from vegetables.
Modern Love hand-printed silk bedspread
Adorning Chippendale’s State Bed, Modern Love has been designed by world renowned Scottish-based print and textile studio Timorous Beasties.
Leather vases: Wing Form Wide, Wing Form Tall, Wing Form Long
Made using a medieval process to boil and harden leather, Simon Hasan designed this series following a period of research at RAF Halton, where his father trained as an aircraft engineering apprentice.
Silk Series Paper Sculptures
Yorkshire-born Andy Singleton has created intricate paper sculptures manipulated by hand to hang in Harewood’s Main Library.
Vase with Goddess as Deer watching over Woman
Using the power of ceramics to tell stories, Lena Peters designs vessels and sculptures that tell compelling stories of historical mythologies.
Yellow Drawing Room
Rug (Harewood Commission)
Using surplus wool from the Yorkshire carpet trade, and hand dying it naturally from bark and foliage collected during a foraging visit to Harewood, Max’s rug for the Yellow Drawing Room is testament to his passionate studies of nature, materials and techniques.
Cinnamon Drawing Room
If Chairs Could Talk furniture
Yinka specialises in giving discarded furniture a new life, taking inspiration from the vibrant stories of his Nigerian heritage.
Installation (Harewood Commission)
Faye Toogood’s diverse work encompasses sculpture, design, interiors and fashion. On 16 metres of industrial racking she has curated an archive of her work, featuring more than 30 elements of design and clothing. Together they provide a comprehensive survey of contemporary British craft skills.
State Dining Room
I’ll give you everything and Miss Super Glut Ceramic Sculptures
Anna Barlow’s intricate ceramic sculptures bring a contrasting element of fantasy and theatre to the Victorian interior.
Freed of London
Freed of London is world renowned for its ballet and dance shoes. For 90 years they have remained true to the promise of their founder Thomas Freed to tailor shoes to every dancer’s individual needs.
A reel of films will take visitors into the worlds and workshops of several of the Makers featured in Useful/Beautiful.
80 years ago Mr Samuel Fox developed a model for the humble umbrella that has stood the test of time to this day. This display shows the component parts and process that go into making an umbrella that will last a lifetime.
Netherton Foundry makes traditional iron cookware of the highest quality. Here we show the stages that a single iron frying pan goes through in its journey from raw material to functional design.
Leszek Sikon combines modern design with age-old traditional skills to create bespoke knives from discarded metals. Here, old steel cables reclaimed from Felixstowe shipyard are pattern-welded into knives.
This place grew along a coal seam Ceramic Installation
Reiko’s installation explores different forms and techniques, including a poetic collaboration with playwright Chris Thorpe. Words from Thorpe’s play The Stoke Mysteries adorn a series of fine bone chine platters, displayed on wall racks.
A collection of Baskets imagined for use in a kitchen garden
Having trained as a fabric-weaver, Hilary Burns moved to basket making over 30 years ago. Making both functional baskets and sculptural pieces, she draws on the resources in her local area, most notably from her own willow farm.
Shell Garden Tools
Using steel reclaimed from wartime ammunition, Leszek has forged a series of garden tools with hickory handles – turning items of destruction into tools for creation.