William Morris Society Launches Online Exhibition

A Place in Pattern: Islamic Art and its Influence in British Arts & Crafts

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The Wiliam Morris Society

William Morris Society Online Exhibition


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A new online exhibition has been launched by the William Morris Society.

Entitled ‘A Place in Pattern: Islamic Art and its Influence in British Arts & Crafts’ the exhibition is set to run until the beginning of next year.

It features original work by researcher and artist Dr Sara Choudhrey alongside works on paper from The William Morris Society’s collection and objects from The Emery Walker Trust collection both of which are in Hammersmith.

The show explores themes of nature, locality and cultural interactions through material. The ordered yet natural patterns of Islamic design are known to have inspired Morris, and he wrote of the stylistic perfection achieved by their craftsmen.

In 1882 he said, “To us pattern designers Persia has become a holy land, for there in the process of time our art was perfected, and thence above all places it spread to cover for a while the world, east and west.”

The Walker family were friends and neighbours with the Morris’s and greatly admired Islamic art, they notably collected a number of pieces on their travels across Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Dr Choudhrey uses a variety of techniques and materials, playing with the effects of light and shadow, textures and form. She merges of digital technologies with traditional drafting methods in an interdisciplinary approach.

This online exhibition aims to bring together three different, yet intersecting expressions of Islamic art and presents them as an interconnected and evolving whole.

The exhibition has an accompanying events programme, which includes online talks and virtual workshops, the details for these can be found on the Society’s website.

The William Society exists to make better known the life, work and ideas of William Morris, designer, craftsman, poet and socialist. The Society’s premises are in the Coach House and basement of Kelmscott House, Morris’s Hammersmith home for the last 18 years of his life.

Kelmscott House. Picture: Google Streetview

The Emery Walker Trust is based in the former home of Emery Walker and his family. Walker was a key member of the Arts and Crafts Movement, close friend and advisor of William Morris and an inspirational force behind the private press movement of the 1890s and early 20th century. The mission of the Emery Walker Trust is to maintain and display the house and both promote and advance the study and appreciation of the Arts & Crafts Movement.



October 4, 2020