Inspired by heritage 2009: Serena Partridge
Artist in Residence at the Royal Pump Room Museum, Harrogate

The Museum’s first artist in residence was Serena Partidge, a textile artist whose inspiration is drawn mainly from historical fashion, which she distorts in scale and proportion to produce curious objects with fictional labels.

Serena explored the Museum’s collections, looking at material related to the town’s spa history, including Victorian and Edwardian costume, ephemera such as letters, guide books, photographs and newspaper cuttings.

From this research she developed a body of work called ‘Harrogate Tales’, telling stories that blurred the boundaries between truth and fiction.

Serena created a number of unusual gloves, as if from the Harrogate collections, using embroidery in a considered, meaningful way. She used materials that had previous lives: reclaimed leather, silk and metal-threads, paper from dressmaking patterns and human hair.

The theme of loss, emotional and physical, runs throughout this work: lost possessions, loss of loved ones, lost relationships, the disappearance of Agatha Christie.

Serena’s residency was part of the Inspired by Heritage programme, an initiative to support the development of new work by North Yorkshire artists and makers and to build new partnerships between arts and heritage organisations. It was developed as part of the Art Connections project and supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Harrogate Borough Council and Chrysalis Arts Development.

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Page last updated 15/06/2016