Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Monday 24 January 2022

Unknown Tapestry Design Discovered & Realised For Major New Exhibition In Sussex

A rare and previously unseen tapestry found by chance has been made into a new large scale textile work for a major exhibition opening this season at Towner Eastbourne, in East Sussex. 
Credit E.O. Hoppé Estate Collection / Curatorial Inc

To coincide with the first ever UK solo exhibition of multi-skilled painter, printmaker, illustrator and tapestry designer Eileen Mayo DBE (1906-1994) a tapestry cartoon by the artist which was found by chance by her great niece will be the centrepiece of the exhibition. 

The drawing was found via an internet search by Mayo's great niece, Dr Lucie Stanford, who is based in Australia and then purchased at auction. 

The work has been realised in collaboration with The Tapestry Studio at West Dean College of Arts and Conservation, one of the only professional studios in the UK and is the only tapestry by Mayo to be created posthumously. 

Lucie was keen to commission the tapestry from the cartoon she had purchased, when she was in touch with John Gainsborough, Mayo's stepson, about the exhibition at Towner. 

She was inspired to work with West Dean through their reputation and collaborations with artists such as Tracey Emin.

The design found was for a work named Duck Pond (c 1948-49), and when realised the work will span almost the size of a double bed quilt. 

Viewing the work at Towner will be the only chance to see the piece in the UK before the work travels to be part of a private collection in Australia after the exhibition closes. 

The work, of blue and green hues and depicts an aerial view of a pond on which three ducks are swimming, surrounded by the aquatic flora, fauna and wildlife.

Lucie explains: 

"I bought the cartoon via a phone bid at an auction in 2011. I was in Australia, the auction house was based in New Zealand, yet the cartoon was located in the USA. 

"There was a second Eileen Mayo cartoon in the same auction  which was of a rock pool scene and Duck Pond was 'the one'." 

The cartoons were a surprise find, as they weren't listed in the PhD Thesis on Eileen by Jillian Cassidy which catalogued all of her known works. 

Talking about the commission, Philip Sanderson, of West Dean (Studio Leader) said: 

"This is the first time we have worked with the Towner Eastbourne and the first time we have worked on an Eileen Mayo design. 

"All tapestries come with their own language, but unlike other works that we have translated, this project differs in that we are unable to have a dialogue with the artist on how the final work should look. 

"However, the design by Mayo, who trained as a tapestry designer and cartoon maker under Jean Lurçat does show in great detail how the tapestry should be made. 

"In addition to this we have liaised with Dr Lucie Stanford who has the original cartoon to establish the best size for the tapestry (172cm x 132cm) and the relatively small palette of 14 colours."

The exhibition takes place from 12th February to 3rd July 2022. CLICK HERE for more information.

by: Mike Cobley


Head First Acrobats return to the Brighton Fringe Festival with two spectacular shows, Railed for adults, and PreHysterical for children.

Hastings Fat Tuesday have teamed up with The Marina Fountain and The Prince Albert to bring Primal Scream to the White Rock Theatre for a special warm up show ahead of their Screamadelica live dates.

After collaborating with Noel Gallagher on the single Where's My Family Gone, Brighton-bound Andrew Cushin picked up the support of another iconic rock 'n' roller when Pete Doherty signed him to his Strap Originals label.

Building on the sample-based approach of their classic albums Since I Left You and Wildflower, but stepping boldly into new terrain, We Will Always Love You is the latest offering from Brighton-bound The Avalanches.
Credit Leigh Simpson

Barrie Kosky's highly anticipated new production of Poulenc's powerful opera Dialogues des Carmélites will premiere next summer at the 2023 Glyndebourne Festival. It was originally scheduled to appear at the event in 2020 before the season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tens of thousands of fans will unite in Brighton to watch the World Cup 2022 on huge anti-glare screens with a world-class sound system, food, drinks and a proper big game atmosphere. 

Actor Michelle Collins chats ahead of her starring role in the comedy thriller Cluedo, the new play, directed by Mark Bell (The Play That Goes Wrong), which visits Theatre Royal Brighton from Monday 13th to Saturday 18th June.
Credit Jim Stephenson

Syrian architects Marwa Al-Sabouni and Ghassan Jansiz will bring a unique architectural element to this year's Brighton Festival by building a temporary community arts venue on Hove seafront in the form of a traditional Arabic arcade.

Brighton-bound Canadian songwriter and musician Leith Ross shared their new single We'll Never Have Sex, alongside a self-directed and produced video, after finding viral fame. 
Credit Olivia Rose

Mercury Prize 2020 winning Kiwanuka looks inward and out, across widescreen sonic landscapes constructed in recording studios in London, Los Angeles and New York, and provides a showcase for the honey-poured mahogany of Michael Kiwanuka's voice.
Credit Summer Dean

Before Dylan Thomas drank himself to death at the tender age of 39, he and his wife Caitlin (née Macnamara) were the great lovers who boozed, binged and brawled their way through the bars of Britain in the 30s and 40s mixing with fellow artists and the bohemian in-crowd, living on tick, behaving scandalously and being forgiven. Their marriage was stormy, passionate and explosive.

Comedian Jason Byrne - who brings his new show to The Old Market, Hove, this October - has not only had his heart unblocked and been given a new lease of life, but his whole career has been unblocked too! 

The artist Maggi Hambling will present her first exhibition at Glyndebourne at the 2022 Glyndebourne Festival, with support from Marlborough Gallery.

Soulful Edinburgh-born newcomer Brooke Combe will be support for Miles Kane when he plays Concorde 2, Brighton, this week.

Organising a conference or event in Brighton?
See our Brighton Conference section.
Brighton web design by ...ntd