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62 Group exhibition comes to St Barbe Museum in Lymington

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AN exhibition by members of the internationally celebrated 62 Group of textile artists will be on display at Lymington’s St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery until 26th February.

The showcase, inspired by themes of people, places, materials and objects, is the first time the group has hosted an exhibition in the town.

The artworks on show represent a range of stories from a day after lockdown in the park, where freedom seemed especially joyful, to devastating memories carefully hand-stitched onto tefillin ties, and many more. Every stitch has been carefully considered to portray a conversation.

Emily Jo Gibbs stitching for the 62 Group exhibition at St Barbe Museum
Emily Jo Gibbs stitching for the 62 Group exhibition at St Barbe Museum

Founded in 1962 as an artists’ cooperative, the 62 Group has an established international reputation for professionalism, quality and strength of purpose. Members include those with prestigious, longstanding careers and recent graduates who are just starting out.

The exhibition also features work from the Boat Builders project by Emily Jo Gibbs, highlighting apprentices working at Berthon Boat Company.

The series of portraits, featuring the foreman and apprentices at work, celebrates the value of making and the importance of skilled labour.

Emily said: “I’m interested in the idea that by taking the time to slowly describe someone in stitch, you convey your admiration – celebrating people who make things by the investment of time in making the work, a quiet, thoughtful act of care and value”.

Talking to the individuals, Emily was interested in the paths that led them to become apprentice boatbuilders, their roles within the boatyard, and the tools and materials that they use.

She enjoys the juxtaposition of representing traditionally masculine roles in delicate hand-stitch while challenging stereotypes. The project is supported by Arts Council England.

The 62 Group exhibition is at Lymington’s St Barbe Museum and Gallery until 26th February.

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