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Sheep to Seat, Fleece to Floor exhibition at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park

PUBLISHED: 00:00 14 February 2019

Designer Ella Doran at British Wool, Bradford Photo Paul Wyatt

Designer Ella Doran at British Wool, Bradford Photo Paul Wyatt

Paul Wyatt

Designer celebrates the skills of wool producers with the help of a few friends

Ella Doran's Waterlake fabric design used to cover a custom-made chair Photo: Paul WyattElla Doran's Waterlake fabric design used to cover a custom-made chair Photo: Paul Wyatt

Homage is paid to the people and traditions involved in the production of wool in a unique exhibition which includes the sheep that graze the historic landscape of Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

Award-winning designer Ella Doran’s exhibition, Sheep to Seat, Fleece to Floor, follows the processes of wool production from shearing sheep at YSP near Wakefield, to scouring, spinning, weaving and design to product development.

‘I am very excited to be working on this project with YSP,’ says Doran. ‘It celebrates the sculpture park’s resources, its beauty, and the joy of creativity and collaboration. Wool is a material that can demonstrate the circular economy in action. I hope to shed light on the amazing range of processes that wool goes through in order to become a finished product and how nothing goes to waste. It’s the industry famous for coining the phrase “where there’s muck there’s brass”.’

Doran has developed close working relationships with the YSP’s neighbouring farmers, Philip and Charles Platt as well as British Wool, who hand graded the wool after shearing; Haworth Scouring, who scoured (cleaned) the wool ready for manufacturing; and British manufacturers, Camira and Alternative Flooring, who have transformed the raw material into products for the home.

Fleece from sheep grazing in the grounds of Yorkshire Sculpture Park was used as part of the exhibitionFleece from sheep grazing in the grounds of Yorkshire Sculpture Park was used as part of the exhibition

Camira have created jacquard wool fabric in one of Doran’s designs which covers a custom-made chair by British designer Julian Mayor and manufactured by Coakley & Cox. The chair is created from one of YSP’s storm-felled oaks. The wool is also used in a unique floor runner produced by Alternative Flooring.

A contemporary living room has been created at an YSP gallery where upholstered stools, tapestries, a series of photographs, which document YSP’s unique 500-acre landscape throughout the seasons, and abstracted screen prints, are featured. The bespoke furniture, furnishings and photographic prints are available to buy.

Doran has also collaborated with filmmaker Paul Wyatt to produce a short film featuring some of the key personalities involved in the project. Visitors can follow the unfolding story alongside the show.

The exhibition extends YSP’s relationship with Doran, which began in 2017 when the artist created a bespoke product range, in celebration of the park’s 40th anniversary. The range includes an apron, cushion, tea towel and chopping board and is available from YSP Shop.

YSP has led successful exhibitions with some of the UK’s best-known artists and designers including Norman Ackroyd, Mister Finch, Mark Hearld, Angie Lewin, Emily Sutton, Rob Ryan, and Alice Pattullo. YSP Shop showcases original work by international artists and contemporary designers and makers.

Sheep to Seat, Fleece to Floor is supported by Camira, Alternative Flooring, Campaign for Wool and British Wool. The exhibition runs from June 15th-September 15th. For more information, visit ysp.org.uk

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