Serena Partridge at Gawthorpe Textiles Collection


Project Info


  • Serena Partridge

Art Forms

  • Installation


  • Gawthorpe Textiles Collection
  • Arts&Heritage
  • Arts Council England Museum Resilience Fund

Project Outline

Luminary was 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.

Luminary is part of the Meeting Point programme.


  • 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


Arts&Heritage is supporting the ten museums participating in Meeting Point 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 them.

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


  • 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 promise 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

The Artist

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.