Exhibition of contemporary raised or stump work caskets and flat panels made by students of Ornamental Embroidery, inspired by seventeenth-century English needlework in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. Four years in the making, the project is part of a continuing series of workshops in the history of hand embroidered textiles and design run by Lynn Hulse and Nicola Jarvis through the Museum’s Education Department.
Seventeenth-century English raised work typically depict Old Testament scenes; Classical mythology; the personification of the continents, seasons or senses; architectural landmarks; English flora and fauna; exotic animals; and mythical creatures. The design for the casket lid, which unites most of the objects displayed, is adapted from the Ashmolean’s 1673 panel The Sacrifice of Isaac. For the students the project became an heirloom piece, so it seemed only fitting that the imagery on the other panels should have some symbolic significance while retaining the spirit of the exemplars that inspired them. The frieze and four side panels have been designed to the students’ individual specifications. As well as traditional historical motifs, the objects include family homes and pets, favourite flowers, plants and insects, stitched in a variety of silks and metal threads on a satin ground.