Internationally-renowned colour expert and fabric designer Kaffe Fassett will make a welcome return to Bath in May with a new exhibition at the Bath & North East Somerset Council-run Victoria Art Gallery. When Fassett and Candace Bahouth last showed here in 2008 the Gallery welcomed a record-breaking 31,000 visitors.
Inspired by flowers all his life, Fassett will demonstrate his full creative flair in this stunning new exhibition, A Celebration of Flowers. With a bespoke dazzling colour scheme to match, the installation will transform the Gallery using 40 of his vibrant coloured quilts and needlepoints.
The show will also feature colourful mosaiced island gardens, benches, totems, mirror frames, shoes, flower-encrusted candlesticks and a chandelier by one of Fassett’s long-term collaborators, fellow American Candace Bahouth, who is based in Somerset. Many of these works are on a large scale and extend the floral theme into three dimensions.
Councillor Paul Myers (Conservative Midsomer Norton Redfield), Cabinet Member for Economic and Community Regeneration, said: “These two stunning exhibitions will appeal to a wide range of audiences, both residents and visitors, when they show at the gallery over the summer and I hope attract as many, if not more, visitors as the last time.”
Kaffe Fassett said: “Since colour is my obsession in art, I am fascinated by flowers as a subject. This show celebrates my recent book on the floral world called Bold Blooms.”
Candace Bahouth added: “My encrusted mosaics are inspired by nature, ceramics and textiles. Come and be immersed. Escape, dream, reflect…in a world of fantasy, pattern, colour and delight!”
Kaffe Fassett is one of the world’s most renowned textile designers. His work has been exhibited at museums worldwide and is in many permanent collections, including the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. He continues to travel worldwide to lecture, teach, and promote his work.
Born in 1937, Fassett spent much of his youth in the creative community of Big Sur, California. He moved to England as a student in the 1960s and spent some time living in Bath, where he was inspired by quilts in the American Museum.
Starting out as a fine artist, he ventured into the world of colourful yarn on a visit to a Scottish wool mill where, inspired by the colours in the landscape, he was thrilled to find yarns in the same colours. On the train back to London a fellow passenger taught him how to knit.
A graduate in fine art from Syracuse University, Bahouth settled in rural Somerset, where she developed her unique facility for expression in mosaics using found material from nature as well as fragments of china and even high-tech plastics. Many of her creations are designed on a large scale to fit within garden settings. Her work also features in many permanent exhibitions, including the Victoria and Albert Museum.
During the exhibition, the Victoria Art Gallery shop will be selling a beautiful range of gifts and homeware featuring Kaffe Fassett’s unique and fabulous designs.
There will be a series of talks and tours to accompany the show, including:
Lunchtime exhibition tours
Every Thursday, 24 May to 23 August inclusive, 12.30pm-1pm
Free to ticket holders and Discovery Card holders.
Lunchtime talk by Candace Bahouth
Wednesday 27 June, 1.10pm-1.45pm
A free lunchtime talk by Candace Bahouth at The Guildhall, Bath.
Kaffe Fassett: Colour and Inspiration
Wednesday 25 July, The Assembly Rooms
A talk by Kaffe Fassett at the Assembly Rooms in Bath.
Tickets available at £12.00/£11.00 concessions from Bath Box Office (www.bathboxoffice.org.uk) from 2 April 2018.