Meeting Point2: Gawthorpe Textiles Collection

Dining Room at Gawthorpe Hall, Gawthorpe Textiles Collection © Jonathan Turner 

Luminary is a series of new contemporary artworks by visual artist Serena Partridge inspired by the charity’s founder, Rachel Kay-Shuttleworth. 

  • Facts

    Title Luminary
    Historical Sites Gawthorpe Hall
    Lead Artists Serena Partridge
    Artwork Installation
    Partners / Stakeholders Gawthorpe Textiles Collection, Arts&Heritage and Arts Council England
    Budget £10,000.00
    Development 6 Months
    Dates 2 August 2017 - 5 November 2017
  • Description


    Luminary by Serena Partridge at Gawthorpe Textiles Collection © Jonathan Turner 

    The project is part of the Meeting Point2 project led by Arts&Heritage. It supports ten new contemporary art installations at museums across the North East, North West and Yorkshire during 2017. Meeting Point2 is funded by Arts Council England Museum Resilience Fund. 

    Luminary is inspired by Rachel Kay-Shuttleworth’s life and the textile collection she created, which is on permanent display in her ancestral home Gawthorpe Hall. The exhibition marked the 50th anniversary of her death. 

    Visual artist Serena Partridge said: “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.”

    For Luminary, Serena explored creating work on a larger scale, integrating a series of embroidered interventions in rooms around Gawthorpe Hall. 

    The embroidered installations Serena created for Luminary reflect many different aspects of Miss Rachel’s life and use a range of techniques and motifs inspired by her collection:

    Set ~ in the Dining Room ~ represents Miss Rachel, her parents and five siblings.  It is inspired by Miss Rachel’s extensive travels collecting examples of embroidery and textiles from many parts of the world, as well as two alabaster holiday souvenirs her mother brought home from Italy. Serena’s use of glow-in-the-dark thread references a spiritual experience recounted in ‘A Memoir’ by Canon G A Williams in which Miss Rachel saw ‘a great luminosity’ while laying awake at night, which revealed to her that she must found a ’Craft House’.

    Care ~ in the Huntroyde Bedroom ~ represents Miss Rachel in her role as caretaker of both Gawthorpe Hall and her growing textile collection. She once compared her many and exquisite whitework examples to the varied beauty of individual snowflakes.

    Guide ~ in the Long Gallery ~ is inspired by Miss Rachel’s long involvement with the Girl Guide Movement and a communal sampler, designed by Miss Rachel and embroidered by the Guides and Brownies in NE Lancashire.

    On display from 23rd September:

    Play ~ in the Drawing Room ~ is informed by Miss Rachel’s determination not to learn to play the piano and by the Tree of Life bed hangings she designed and stitched.

    Watch a short film about the inspiration behind Luminary


    • To keep alive Miss Rachel’s radical and pioneering approach to craft
    • To raise the collections profile and find new ways to engage local people in the collection


    Play, Luminary by Serena Partridge, for Gawthorpe Textiles Collection © Jonathan Turner

    Arts&Heritage is supporting the ten participating museums throughout the process, sharing knowledge of presenting contemporary art projects and commissions in non-traditional art spaces.

    A networking event between the participating museums and 70 artists from across the UK took place at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and visits to artists’ studios were arranged. Museum teams also met with peers at other properties to learn how they successfully delivered contemporary art projects at their museums and heritage sites.

    All museums developed their own Artist’s Brief. Following the networking event artists were invited to send in an expression of interest to museums that interested therm.

    Four artists were shortlisted by each museum to draw up a more detailed proposal and were paid £500 each


    Information to follow


    • £10,000 to include all materials, travel and installation costs
    • £1000 towards learning and outreach
    • £500 paid to each of four artists shortlisted
  • Audience Engagement


    Luminary by Serena Partridge at Gawthorpe Textiles Collection © Jonathan Turner 

    A marketing campaign for the Meeting Point2 project was led and delivered by Emma Pybus and David Brookbanks.

    The Meeting Point2 project was documented by Jonathan Turner and Peter Spence



    Guide, Luminary by Serena Partridge, for Gawthorpe Textiles Collection © Jonathan Turner

    Serena worked with local community groups to contribute to the final finished commission. 

    Luminary was included in Fabrications 2017, Super Slow Way’s festival celebrating textiles in contemporary art. Visit to find out more about Fabrications events across Pennine Lancashire.

  • Artist Information

    Serena Partridge in her studio at Crescent Arts © Jonathan Turner

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