Laura McCafferty: Drawing with Fabric

Laura McCafferty: Drawing with Fabric

January 09

17 January 2009 to 19 April 2009

A new display which holds a mirror up to the fashions we wear in our everyday lives opens at Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Fashion Museum at the Assembly Rooms Bath on 17 January 2009.

The collection of 15 framed embroideries by textile artist Laura McCafferty gives a glimpse at what the young and the old wear during their spare time or on a day out, whether that’s playing bingo, sitting in a café reading the paper, going to a music festival, out for a stroll on a Sunday afternoon with friends, or just simply walking down the street.

This is the first time that the Council-run Fashion Museum has presented the work of a contemporary textile artist in the galleries.

Rosemary Harden, Fashion Museum Manager, Bath & North East Somerset Council, commented “ Laura’s work is vibrant and colourful and you can immediately recognize different styles of the type of dress that we all wear on a day to day basis in her work. I know that hoodies have a bad press, but so many people today wear them, and Laura’s embroidery Man with Cat in New York is a wonderful way of recording that and presenting it as fashion history to visitors to the Fashion Museum”.

“Fashion is not just about big name designers, or even only about high street stores. Fashion is about style and putting a look together on a day to day basis. It’s difficult, however, to record this for posterity and to present these do-it-yourself looks in the context of fashion history in a museum setting. It is for this reason that at the Fashion Museum, Bath & North East Somerset Council has hit upon a series of linked displays presenting ‘ordinary dress’ to its visitors in a variety of different artistic forms”.

Laura begins each piece with a preparatory pen drawing, and then works through the different textile art work processes of appliqué, screen print, and hand embroidery. The fabrics used are a mixture of new pieces and re-cycled fabrics sourced from vintage clothing stores and sales.  Each art work is unique.

“What I’m doing is taking the ordinary and trying to make it beautiful” commented Laura McCafferty. “An early preoccupation with the elderly while I was still at college was my first attempt to grasp and to capture something before it vanished. There is an ongoing fixation with humans and how we react within a particular environment, the effect a place has on our attitude, behaviour and the impact of those around us. This idea manifests itself in documentary reportage textile artwork”.

“Including the people around me has opened up a clear direction in my work- rather than act upon a chance sighting or a fleeting moment I have begun to take control of the scene as in The Crufts Misfits, a 3 metre long art work which came about as the result as a staged gathering of friends”.
The display follows on from the successful 1977 display showcasing 20 beautiful photographs of punk and new wave bands in 1977.  In this display Bath & North East Somerset Council are presenting day to day dress in modern Britain today through this series of changing displays.

The display continues at the Fashion Museum until 19 April, just after Easter 2009.
For more information log on to the website


Notes to editors:
Attached image: Man and Cat in New York

Laura McCafferty will be available at the Fashion Museum on Friday 16 and Saturday 17 January by arrangement on 01225 477736 for any press photography.

For other images contact Maggie Bone, Museums Publicity Officer on 01225 477736, email:

For further information, contact Rosemary Harden, Fashion Museum Manager on 01225 477282 or email: