Lant Street is in a corner of Borough, an area of south London known for its food market and history of trade and manufacture (it is near the river Thames). There is a wine shop and warehouse called Lant Street Wine here. They put on exhibitions and happenings (and sell wine, of course). From 30 September - 6 October 2019, two quilters called Arrange Whatever Pieces Come Your Way held a small but beautifully formed exhibition there.
Tekst: Jane Audas
Sheelagh Boyce, a teacher and quilter in Glasgow and architect-turned-quilter Annabelle Harty in London, came together to quilt with purpose in 2016. They make quilts that describe buildings and environments - often as direct responses to the building the quilts will be exhibited in. The fabric of their quilts is clothing from friends and family, and each piece has had its own history before being unpicked and reused by Sheelagh and Annabelle.
The fabric of their quilts is clothing from friends and family, and each piece has had its own history before being unpicked and reused by Sheelagh and Annabelle. Having creative friends yields interesting clothes for quilting with. In Quilt 13, based upon architecture in the Barbican Cantre, London, the "concrete" is made from pieces of an Issey Miyake dress worn (almost to the bone) by Annabelle’s mother, a former architect. There are some glimpses of bright blue shirts donated by the architect James Stirling, who was famous for wearing them. And lots of Comme des Garçons has been (even more) deconstructed.
"Found cloth is one of the most striking elements of their work"
The story of Arrange Whatever Pieces Come Your Way is also a lovely story of two women from creative backgrounds coming together to make work. Until Quilt 8 they worked separately on the quilts - but now prefer to work together. The name Arrange Whatever Pieces Come Your Way is a quote from Virginia Woolf. It perfectly describes the process and the practice of Sheelagh and Annabelle. Found cloth is one of the most striking elements of their work, providing visual metaphor and quilted form at one and the same time. The found pieces also tell of the womens’ backgrounds in design and architecture and their circles of acquaintance.
Visually, this work is undeniably architectural and graphic and sits very comfortably in the medium of quilting. Arrange Whatever Pieces Come Your Way at Lant Street, London was much more than the sum of its parts. Small (7 quilts numbered 1, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14) and up only for a short time; but satisfying and something to have seen. The perfect popup exhibition, really.