Threads Through Creation

From 7th January to 19th March, Bath Abbey is playing host to ‘Threads through Creation’, a stunning exhibition of twelve enormous, embroidered silk panels that explore the story of Creation.

Inspired by the poetic verses of Genesis, the first book in the Bible, textile artist Jacqui Parkinson re-imagines this ancient story in a vibrant combination of layers of silk, hand-dyed materials, metallic leathers and gold leaf, miles of thread – and more than eight million stitches!

The Abbey may be closed to visitors at certain times for services, or private events. Please always check our Opening Times or with the Abbey Office before visiting.

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We look forward to welcoming you.

Threads Through Creation

The panels are huge – 1.5m/8ft high by as much as 4m/13ft wide - and vary in appearance from elemental pieces illustrating the first days to highly complex and lush work as we enter the Garden of Eden.

Jacqui Parkinson’s work is always eye-catching and attractive, designed to be accessible for viewers of all ages. Whilst the serious context of God’s good earth and man’s impact on it underlies the entire exhibition, the embroidery itself is bold and exuberant, with many delightful quirky details such as both accurate and fanciful creatures embroidered into the stories.

The Revd Canon Guy Bridgewater, Rector of Bath Abbey, said ‘Bath Abbey is a wonderful place for peace and contemplation, and having Threads through Creation here will add new dimensions to a visit: spectacular, astonishing textile art brings new colour into the first pages of the bible.  We invite visitors to come, see and enjoy Jacqui Parkinson’s extraordinary visual retelling of the creation story, a retelling that is absorbing, breath-taking and uplifting – and enjoyable whatever your age or background.’

 

How are the panels created?

Jacqui says, ‘It’s a pleasure to have the exhibition in Bath Abbey, such a lovely tranquil gem of a building. The creation story is a lovely gem in the bible. I hope the panels will add a sparkle to everyone’s visit here.’

Speaking about how she works, Jacqui said: “I start simply with antique bedsheets, which hold their own tales of life and death. Then I gradually build up my stories by quilting the sheets and painting them with fabric dyes. Once that is done, I add layers of silk, which I stitch into place using thick black thread and a free motion sewing machine. This allows me to construct my ‘drawings’ line upon line. Then I add gold and metallic leathers as finishing touches, overall creating great richness as a feast for the eye!

Jacqui adds: ‘My aim is to capture the wonderful extravagance of the Creation story and to delight people who view it. Despite Adam and Eve’s fall from grace, it remains a story of love and promise, something we can all do with these days.’

The Abbey may be closed to visitors at certain times for services, or private events. Please always check our Opening Times or with the Abbey Office before visiting.

Threads Through Creation

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