In 2004 I was commissioned by the National Trust to design and weave a series of large pieces for their new central office. My work was earmarked by the project architects Feilden Clegg Bradley at 100% Design in 2003.
The project comprised five large scale double faced panels to hang in the atrium of the new building. They are suspended on a winch system and can either hang as banners above head-height or can be lowered to create alcoves. Acoustic quilt is used within the sub-frame to aid sound absorbency in the space. The pieces formed an integral part of the building, both practically and aesthetically.
A key factor in my selection for the project was the extensive and rigorous approach to the underlying research. This included photography and drawing carried out at a number of National Trust sites as well as detailed design development. The research and ‘narrative’ behind the panels was recognized as so fundamental to the work that the Trust bought copies of the storyboards and sketchbooks to hang with the pieces.
The commission has achieved considerable international recognition. An extensive profile by Ruth Pavey in the internationally recognized Crafts Council ‘Crafts’ Magazine centred on the commission as my largest and most important work to date. In addition to further press in textile journals such as Selvedge and Modern Carpets and Textiles, the project was also featured in international architectural publications such as Azure (Toronto), and FX. The screens were highlighted by the judging panel in the FX International Interior Design Awards where the building won ’best medium/ large office’, and in her essay for the Henry Moore Tapestry exhibition at Roche Court, Craft historian and curator Amanda Feilding cites the commission as one of the key architectural textile commissions of 2004-5.