A dress created by our Women’s Textile Group, exploring different identities and heritages, is to be featured as part of HOME’s Manchester Open Exhibition in 2022.
From Friday 21 January to Sunday 27 March 2022, HOME’s Gallery will be filled with work from over 400 residents of Greater Manchester residents, selected by a panel consisting of art experts and people from Manchester’s communities. With over 2,000 artwork entries, the exhibition will showcase the incredible breadth of talent Greater Manchester has to offer, with inspirational artwork across all media being included.
We are honoured to be contributing to this celebration of Manchester’s creative talent with a submission from our very own Women’s Textile Group; ‘In the Hands of Women’, a dress celebrating the diverse identities of the women in the group.
Led by the Manchester-based artist Jo Scorah, our multifaith Women’s Textile Group has worked on a number of projects since its formation, including this dress and a Torah covering used in the museum’s engagement sessions. Made from collaged fabric panels, the dress featured self-portraits, nostalgic childhood symbols, recipes, photographs and hand-embroidered quotes which all encapsulate specific moments and relationships from the women’s lives. These panels were then assembled into the dress by Jo Scorah.
The dress and the process of creating it captures the beauty of the group’s dynamic as the women took pride in their differences and individual senses of self, yet equally embraced their coming together. Working towards a group project during lockdown was both therapeutic and motivating for many of the women, helping them develop new skills and form new friendships.
Earlier this year they group also collaborated with Turner Prize-winning artist Laure Prouvost for her installation ‘The long waited, weighted gathering’ as part of Manchester International Festival 2021. Alongside the dress, the group embroidered four panels that surrounded a screen projecting Laure’s film which celebrated the communities of women that once sat in The Ladies’ Gallery of our synagogue. The panels were embroidered with symbols such as lemons, birds, clementines and pomegranates as well as quotes written in the Judeo-Spanish ladino language.
Our Women’s Textile Group is open to any self-identifying women and is a great place to make new friends and practice your textile craft. Working with different artists and guest speakers, the group works on a variety of creative projects. To join email our Creative Producer Dara at firstname.lastname@example.org
Manchester Open Exhibition 2022 will be running at HOME from Friday 21 January to Sunday 27 March 2022. Find out more:
A special thank you to the women who created the dress: