Our May Lab Night focused on sculptural linen, where the teenage participants explored textiles in 3D. The FE McWilliam Gallery was transformed into a balloon-filled laboratory of form, texture and written word, led by artist Rachel Fitzpatrick and writer Heather Richardson.


The night began using the simple ingredients of linen thread, balloons and plenty of PVA glue to create finely-spun fibre globes. Rachel demonstrated the technique: paint the balloon with glue and then wrap it round and round with linen thread. For those with a taste for embellishment, there was the option of adding in coloured thread or fragments of poetry written on tissue paper.


Heather led a break-out creative writing session, using one of Rachel’s monumental Velcro chandelier pieces as inspiration.

Then it was back to linen, wrapping simple hardware items like nails and screws, and fastening them with wool. Add a little time and a sprinkling of water, unwrap, and the linen became a piece of sculptural textile art.

Some of the young people taking part were studying art at school, while others were there for a creative boost away from the pressures of exams and studying. It was great to see these budding artists, designers and creative writers discovering for themselves the potential of linen.


Our third Lab Night – My Logo is taking place on Thursday 6th June at the F.E. McWilliam Gallery. Tickets are available at a cost of £2 here.