Monday 2 December 2019

Denise Watts & Kate Whitehead at the Knitting & Stitching Show - Harrogate 2019

Denise Watts - Dressed to Impress
"Fashion can be bought, style must be posssessed." Edna Woolman Chase

I particularly enjoyed the Knitting & Stitching Show at Harrogate this year.  I'm not sure whether it was the fantastic exhibitions, the great workshops, the enticing stalls or the fact that I'd finished my own pre-Christmas events. In fact it was probably all those things.  

Denise Watts - Everything is Rosie

"Be content to stand in the light and let the shadow fall where it will." Mary W Stewart

Anyway this blogpost is about some of those fantastic exhibitions.  I really loved Denise Watts' "The Little Woman" exhibition.  Denise Watts is a bobbin lace artist who through the medium of art dolls, has expressed women's pain throughout history, be it menstruation, childbirth, heartbreak, beauty treatments, having a conforming body shape, being treated as a chattel, or the general frustration of not being treated equally to men.

Denise Watts - Trapped in a Bubble
"Menstrual blood is the only source of blood that is not traumatically induced.  Yet in modern society, this is the most hidden blood, the one so rarely spoken of and almost never seen, except privately by women..." Judy Grahn

The dolls were beautifully made with paper mache heads, arms and legs, fabric bodies and hair made of handmade horsehair bobbin lace.  They were dressed in vintage fabric and lace.  Each doll was also accompanied by an appropriate quote.  You can see some of my favourites in this blogpost.

Denise Watts - She Wanted Curls
"Naturally curly hair is a curse, and don't let anyone ever tell you different."  Mary Ann Shaffer

Kate Whitehead is a textile artist, whose work is a protest against the way textiles are consumed in western society. Through weaving and embroidery, Kate explores the potential of the forgotten, the overlooked and the abandoned. Kate was showing work from her series "Honesty is the best policy" - in honour of her father's life & "Not from the stork".  Kate is an adoptee and in her work "Not from the stork" she explores the journey women make to have a baby and to nuture it in the first weeks of life and to celebrate her mother and father for adopting her and others who adopt and foster.

Kate Whitehead - Honesty is the best policy

Kate Whitehead - Honesty is the best policy

Kate Whitehead - Honesty is the best policy

Kate Whitehead - Not from the stork - Mother & Daughter

Kate Whithead - Not from the stork - Mother
Kate Whitehead - Not from the stork - Daughter

More to come about the Knitting & Stitching Show in the next blogpost!


  1. I also loved Denise Watts art doll exhibition - the quotes were very appropriate for each doll. Would love to own one. Happy Christmas