Bohemia Village Voice  Bohemia Village Voice

For bohemians everywhere

Baskets galore

Basket by Mary Butcher

Basket by Mary Butcher

If you’re into baskets, you’re in for a treat. Hastings Museum is featuring work by scores of basketmakers from all over Europe. The museum says “This is a mixture of traditional, functional and sculptural work. This inspirational exhibition features work by by some of Europe’s most important basketmakers and highlights the diversity of wonderful baskets being created all over Europe.” Featuring work by almost 80 basketmakers, the exhibition displays the diversity of baskets being created all over Europe. Visitors will see how work varies hugely from country to country, as do the materials.
Basketmakers in countries like France, Germany, Ireland and  England use willow, in Scandinavia they use birch, while towards the Alps, the artists use sweet chestnut that grows on mountain slopes. Some of the traditional pieces on show will surprise: In the northwest of Spain, where the climate is wet, field rushes are used to make waterproof shepherds’ cloaks that have been used for generations.
A fully illustrated catalogue accompanies this exhibition. This visual historical record of the pieces on display is very much part of the exhibition; putting all of the work in context and recording the history of basketmaking throughout Europe. This is a touring exhibition organised by the Crafts Council of Ireland and the National Craft Gallery.  As well as the exhibition itself (which runs to May 3), visitors will have the opportunity to meet with European Baskets curator and exhibitor Mary Butcher on Saturday 31 January at 2.00pm, when she will be giving a gallery talk. Join Mary for a personal look at the work on display, followed by tea & cakes. Tickets cost £2 which includes refreshments. 
o Hastings Museum & Art Gallery, Bohemia Road. Admission Free. www.hmag.org.uk   Tel: 01424 451052.

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