Landscape and Gardens of Gibside

A member's textile work

From Wednesday 8 June, you may spot washing on the line if you visit Gibside’s Walled Garden this summer. However, we promise we haven’t run out of space when laundering tea towels from the café. 

Look a little closer and you will discover a new creative and vibrant exhibition to mark the 300th anniversary of the birth of Capability Brown.

The landscape design of Gibside is credited to Stephen Switzer and explores the link between farmland, woodland, natural form and a carefully designed landscape.  This concept was further developed throughout England by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, a designer who changed the landscape to create a style that has shaped people’s view of the quintessential English countryside.

Landscape and Gardens of Gibside is a colourful collection of hand embroidered domestic tea towels and aprons that will be displayed on washing lines in the Walled Garden. Inside the Palladian Chapel there will be an exhibition of more traditional and intricate embroidered textiles found on boards and easels. 

Starting in January 2016, the task was for all the contributors – 150 people from Tyne and Wear, Country Durham, Northumberland and Teesside - to interpret the theme ‘Landscape and Gardens of Gibside’. 

We weren’t quite sure what the end results would be so it was fascinating when each of all the 200 pieces were all different, celebrating the beauty of Gibside and the talent and imagination of all who have been involved.

Together with the North East branch of The Embroiderers’ Guild, the pieces have been lovingly handmade using fabric, thread and other materials. 

Look closely and you can see the craftsman ship that has been used; traditional and contemporary embroidering techniques combining hand and machine stitch and incorporating techniques such as quilting, applique, paint, mixed media and fabric manipulation (for example felting).

Landscape and Gardens of Gibside is part of a national celebration at 150 sites across the UK.