Paint, glass and textile: Three exhibitions at the Art Workers’ Guild

’Avenue, mid-Winter’, oil on board, 2018 - Edmund Fairfax-Lucy

The End of Lunch - Edmund Fairfax-Lucy Paintings


Tradescant Trust engraved glass bowl - Josephine Harris

And then the Heav’n Espy - Josephine Harris
Engraved glass, paintings, drawings and prints


Turtle Jacket embroidered by ELTA participants, designed and made by Sonia Tuttiett
Photographed by Frederic Landes

 Kalila Wa Dimna - East London Textiles Arts
Costumes and Embroidery


The exhibitions are open to the public:
Friday 10, Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 September, 12pm - 6pm
Sunday 24 October, 12pm - 6pm

Otherwise the exhibitions can be viewed by appointment:
Email or phone 020 7278 3009

The Art Workers’ Guild resumes its exhibition programme post-pandemic with three contrasting displays representing different aspects of this organisation of arts and crafts practitioners, based in Bloomsbury and now over 135 years old.

Edmund Fairfax-Lucy (1945-2020) was a dedicated painter in oils with a faithful following of collectors and Master of the Art Workers’ Guild in 2012. He lived at Charlecote, near Stratford-upon-Avon, an ancestral home belonging to the National Trust, and its atmospheric interiors with subtly-coloured textiles and crowded rooms provided him with many subjects. But his real subject was light and colour, which he captured with intense looking and searching. The exhibition is titled ‘The End of Lunch’ after one of his paintings.

His friend, the art historian Paul Hills, has written for the exhibition catalogue, ‘Although living through a period when the tradition of oil painting and the vision and sympathy that it sustained was forgotten or rejected, Fairfax-Lucy held to his faith. Contemplating his later paintings, attending to the flow of the image, we may realize that they are indeed a journey into light.’

Josephine Harris (1931-2020) was inspired by an exhibition of engraved glass to learn this craft, at which she excelled, creating decorative and humorous pieces, that convey strong messages about things she valued in life. In her turn, she inspired and taught another generation of glass engravers. It is rare to be able to see work of this kind and quality, and the exhibition, called ‘And then the heav’n espy’ from George Herbert’s poem about glass as a metaphor for seeing deeply into things, also includes examples of her watercolours, drawings and prints.

East London Textile Arts is an independent arts organisation based in East London, with strong connections to the Art Workers‘ Guild, where their latest exhibition Kalila Wa Dimna Costumes and Embroidery runs concurrently with the other shows. ELTA works with people of all faiths and ethnicities, making community textiles to exhibit and illustrate books, papers and printed fabrics. Projects are run by local people and aim to create textiles that reflect the cultural diversity of the area. They have no paid staff and their projects focus on social, health and environmental issues, as well as any others affecting local communities.

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