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Threadbare: drawing with thread

Manchester Craft and Design Centre intertwined with Debbie Smyth

Published on June 29th 2010.

Threadbare: drawing with thread

The streets of the Northern Quarter are the inspiration behind a unique new art exhibition taking place at Manchester Craft and Design Centre. Artist Debbie Smyth creates incredible pieces of textile art using just pins and thread.

Forget fuddy-duddy textiles and memories of trying to use a sewing machine in school. Debbie's work is a modern twist on textiles and is best described as 'drawing with thread'.

She is spending this week installing her exhibition pieces at the Craft and Design Centre and the public are invited to go along and watch her work.

The Cheltenham artist won the Manchester Craft and Design Centre prize at last year's Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair at Spinningfields, and the prize was a four month exhibition this year.

Debbie said: "Visiting Manchester is always hugely inspirational for me and exhibiting with MCAD is the perfect opportunity to showcase my fascination with Manchester's Northern Quarter.

“By capturing the charm of the mundane streetscapes with the simplest of materials - pins and thread - I hope to give my installation the buzz and life of its unique surroundings.”

She has already paid two trips to the Northern Quarter to take photos of the urban landscape. She then plays around with the images in Photoshop and makes sketches, from which she then completes the installations.

Forget fuddy-duddy textiles and memories of trying to use a sewing machine in school. Debbie's work is a modern twist on textiles and is best described as 'drawing with thread'.

On first glance, it can look like a mass of threads but as you get closer sharp lines come into focus, creating a spectacular image. The images are first plotted out before being filled out with the thread, the sharp angles contrasting with the floating ends of the thread.

Threadbare launches on Saturday, July 3 from 2-4pm, with live music from up and coming singer-songwriter Jo Rose, free refreshments and the opportunity to help Debbie add the finishing touches to the installation.

There will be master classes on her technique on Saturday, September 4 and Saturday, October 9, 10-4pm. See the MCAD website (www.craftanddesign.com) for booking details.

Threadbare will then be on general exhibition at Manchester Craft and Design. Centre until October 30, 2001.

Manchester Craft and Design Centre, 17 Oak Street, Manchester M4 5JD

T: 0161 832 4274. W:www.craftanddesign.com.

Open Mon – Sat, 10-5.30. Closed Sundays and Bank Holidays. Free admission.

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