Lynne Tait has been working as a volunteer on the 'Gathering' project which is taking place at Tatton Park this year. Organised by Art Fair Cheshire as part of our 20th anniversary celebrations, 'Gathering' is a new large-scale artwork by artist Susie MacMurray.
Each week a team of volunteers has been working with Susie to stitch the thousands of elements that will make up the piece. 'Gathering' has been designed for display in the rotunda which is in the mansion at Tatton Park and it will be open to the public from Friday 28th June until 6th October 2019.
"There is something special about gathering around a table. Often that is to share a meal but in this case it is to create a work of art. I have been part of the Wednesday morning volunteer group that has gathered around a table at Susie MacMurray's studio since the autumn helping to create over 3,000 elements that will form an installation at Tatton Park in Knutsford.
Sometimes there are just three of us, and other days its a full house with seven or eight pairs of hands. We spend a couple of hours each week stitching, stuffing and finishing these beautiful pieces. Red silk velvet with reclaimed barbwire. The contrast is startling. Rich red fabric foiled with rough rusty metal. In the grief of my husband's death I can't help but relate this contrast to the extraordinary memories I cherish, and the heart wrenching loss I feel. Stitch by stitch. Gathering has led me to new friends, and an opportunity to connect with existing friends in new ways. We talk and laugh and sometimes cry. We drink coffee and keep stitching knowing we are contributing to Susie's creative vision that will raise money for the East Cheshire Hospice. Our work is almost complete and I am sad that this chapter is ending but excited about seeing the work installed at Tatton.I certainly never would have thought I would be involved in such an incredible project. It's been an amazing opportunity that has helped me continue to move forward."