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Absolutely Buzzing

Absolutely BuzzingAbsolutely Buzzing

Friday 26 May to Monday 26 June

Free Entry: 10am to 5pm

Meet the Maker: Saturday 27 May, 2pm to 5pm

From textile taxidermy to entomological millinery, Bridget Bailey’s art works combine intriguing ideas with her very particular making skills. Millinery straw is coaxed into sharp thorns and tiny feathers are layered, making iridescent beetles. Wires are bound with silk threads to make insect legs, or swirled to represent flight-paths.

A childhood fascination with insects was temporarily eclipsed by a millinery career making flowers, but it hatched out again as Bridget began creating them. Insects make up more than half of life on earth, but they’re often too small to observe (even the ones we know about can still feel undiscovered). This leaves room to explore, invent and speculate about how to describe them through making.

Trained in textiles at Farnham College of Art, Bridget formed Bailey Tomlin Millinery in 1989. She now works as an artist, making for exhibitions and commissions, and shares her skills and experience through teaching master-classes. Her work has recently been shown at ‘London Craft Week’ at Fortnum Mason, and ‘Crafted, Makers of the Exceptional’ at the Royal Academy.

Alongside the exhibition we’re hosting a series of talks, workshops and special events:

  • Flight Path (27 May; noon-1pm) - join Bridget Bailey for an insightful talk about how she became a textile artist. Booking required.
  • Meet the Maker (27 May; 2-5pm) - Bridget will demonstrate how to make moth and butterfly wings, using silk, velvet, and embossing and wiring techniques. Drop in anytime 
  • Children's art events over May half-term featuring a whole host of creepy-crawly crafts and activities. Booking required.
  • Absolutely Buzzing: The Show (24 June; 6:30-10:30pm) - an amazing fashion extravaganza featuring the work of Bridget Bailey, plus some of the region’s best textile designers. Tickets cost £20 (adults), £10 (under 16's) and includes wild food canapés by award-winning chef Rob Green, insect-inspired ‘mocktails’ (courtesy of Tree Top Press) and free parking. Booking required.
  • Flight of the Bumblebee workshop (24 June; 10am-4pm) - a chance to create your own delicate flying insects using feathers, fibres and silks under the expertise of Bridget. Booking required.

Please note during Saturday June 17 (dress rehearsal) and Saturday June 24 (set up for The Show), the gallery will remain open but there will be some disruption to the main exhibition. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.