Serena Partridge at Gawthorpe Textile Collection

Luminary was part of the A&H Meeting Point programme, commissioned by Gawthorpe Textiles Collection and exhibited from August – November 2017.

Artist Brief, Gawthorpe Hall

  • To bring Miss Rachel Kay Shuttleworth to life, in an interesting and imaginative way
  • Open to what form the commission took
  • Artists interested in exploring narrative, depth and drama
  • An artist to spend time with the collections
  • A legacy beyond 2017
  • To engage visitors

Key words & phrases:

  • Miss Rachel – a pioneer, radical thinker and founder of GTC
  • Nationally significant textile collection
  • The importance of creativity and making for social good
  • Craft and keeping traditional skills alive
  • Gawthorpe Hall – 400 years of the Shuttleworth family.

Visit the venue

Artist response

  • To generate unusual responses throughout the building
  • Each artwork would reflect an element of Miss Rachel’s life or character
  • To play with scale and encourage visitors to get up close and see the detail
  • To use vintage material, with embroidered and reflective threads; cloth will capture the light.

“The pieces I’m creating are inspired by motifs and techniques found in the textile collection, including items made by Miss Rachel herself. My pieces reflect on different stages of Miss Rachel’s life and draw on experiences that left a lasting impact on her and her work.” – Serena Partridge, artist


  • The artist donated two of the artworks she created to the Collection
  • The Collection was able to build relationships with a number of organisations through this project, which promised to be beneficial beyond the lifetime of this project
  • Luminary attracted new visitors to Gawthorpe Textile Collection
  • 400 people attended 20 education and outreach events
  • Over 10,000 people visited the exhibition.


  • Involve partners in the process and consult them on key issues
  • Seek out strategic partnerships and collaborations
  • Create a legacy
  • Make the most out of your contacts – or create new ones
  • Build a new audience.


  • Identify risk – i.e. funders, key decision-makers, timing – and plan for it
  • Communication – share information and people at all levels in the process
  • Develop new partnerships or strengthen existing ones
  • Extend your network
  • Be bold
  • What’s the legacy?

About the Artist

Serena Partridge (b. 1974, North Devon) studied Design Crafts at Hereford College of Arts and is currently based in Scarborough.

Recent exhibitions include: Show me your Craft, Nääs Konsthantverk, Sweden (2017); Portrait of a Lady, Chawton House Library, Hampshire (2016); Accessories ~ Charlotte Great and Small, Bronté Parsonage Museum, West Yorkshire (2016) and Serena Partridge at Nunnington Hall, National Trust, nr York (2015).

She has been Artist in Residence at a number of locations including: The Royal Pump Room Museum, Harrogate; Notre Dame Learning Community, Glasgow; Irvine Royal Academy, Ayrshire and Scalloway Booth, Shetland Isles.

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