Vibrant textiles by artist Kaffe Fassett go on display at Mottisfont

Press release
Bright patchwork squares of red and orange shades on a blanket made by Kaffe Fassett, on display at Mottisfont
Published : 13 Sep 2017 Last update : 06 Dec 2017

The dazzling work of world-renowned artist Kaffe Fassett is being celebrated at the National Trust’s Mottisfont in Hampshire this autumn, showcasing a wide range of textiles from a career spanning over 50 years.

For the first time, Kaffe is displaying over 70 hand-selected items from his personal collection in a series of five colour-themed ‘rooms’ in Mottisfont’s contemporary gallery. Each piece has been specially selected to compliment the mood of these individual spaces and their historic setting in the former 13th-century priory.

Mottisfont hosts an annual season of art and design exhibitions in its professional gallery but this will be the property’s first major textile display, The gallery will be transformed with pools of vibrant colour, providing the perfect backdrop for Kaffe’s distinctive knitwear, tapestry, quilts and more.

Kaffe Fassett has inspired people across the world with his colourful work in fabric, knitting, needlepoint and patchwork, and was the first living textile artist to have a one-man show at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. Keen to encourage others to find their own creativity, he has produced over 30 publications, including a number of ‘how to’ books. He also tours internationally giving workshops and lectures.

The pieces on display have no traditional labels; instead, the exhibition will be accompanied by quotes from the artist and information about his inspirations and passion for bold colours and styles.

There are bright and beautiful quilts in every room, alongside a variety of other pieces showcasing Kaffe’s artistic skills, including hand-painted vases, needlepoints, cushions and chinaware.

Kaffe says: “I create in palettes of colour because that is my main obsession. This show is a series of rooms in colour groups, starting with neutral greys and fresh, blue and white combinations. Then a world of spring greens, from vegetable needlepoints to a patchwork of green prints. Sunny yellows are next, with knits, needlepoint and patchwork in lemons, ambers and primrose tones. Then we move on to a deep world of Islamic blues to create a cool pool of luminous cobalts, indigoes, purples and jade greens. We end with a celebration of rich red tones, from opera pink to scarlet and wine shades, with Russian and Oriental influences. Everything in this exhibition is to help others create exciting but low-tech textiles.”

Louise Govier, the Trust’s general manager at Mottisfont, says: “Mottisfont has been supporting artists since 1934, when arts patron and society hostess Maud Russell bought the house with her husband Gilbert. Maud collected and commissioned work from leading contemporary artists, many of whom were invited to Mottisfont, together with writers and designers. Today, we’re delighted that Mottisfont is still welcoming artists and is well established as an arts venue in the south.” 

Kaffe added: “I am a great admirer of the National Trust and the work that they do to support artists at so many of their places. Mottisfont is one of those places, where its historic links with famous 20th-century artists like Rex Whistler have helped it to become a leading arts venue in the south. When I visited Mottisfont I was thrilled by the location – its past as a medieval priory gives it a feeling of great spirituality and tranquillity, and I love the gorgeous, expansive space I have been given to show my work in.”

Kaffe Fassett’s Colour at Mottisfont runs from 16 September – 14 January 2018. Mottisfont’s gallery opens at 11am and closes at 5pm. Normal property admission price only. For visitors unable to access the second floor gallery, we have digital versions of exhibitions on iPads which are available on lower levels.

To help inspire others to create, Kaffe will also be giving a lecture in Crosfield Hall, Romsey, on Thursday 23 November, 6.30-7.30pm. The presentation will highlight works from his latest projects, including patchwork quilts, fabric, needlepoint, mosaics, painting and knitting designs, and Kaffe will also talk about his personal inspirations. The audience will be encouraged to think creatively in their own ways and to try out their own projects. The lecture will finish with a Q&A session and book signing. £12 per person, booking essential via 01794 344020.

Mottisfont’s shop will be stocking many of Kaffe’s publications to help inspire others, as well as other colourful merchandise.

Mottisfont’s Christmas offer this year will be inspired by the Kaffe Fassett exhibition, celebrating the festive season with bright colour and sparkle. The house will be dressed with statement trees, piles of presents and dramatic flower arrangements, while outside there’ll be artist installations and celebrations of natural winter colours. All the Colours of Christmas runs from 25 November - 2 January 2018.

For more information about the exhibition, visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/mottisfont/features/kaffe-fassett-exhibition-at-mottisfont.

For more information about Mottisfont visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/mottisfont or call 01794 340757.

Press.Office@nationaltrust.org.uk